Last post on Oct 26, 2013 at 4:56 AM
You are in the Ford Explorer
What is this discussion about?
Ford Explorer, Mercury Mountaineer
Go to NHTSA to file a safety complaint.
Or call Monday-Friday (8 am to 8 pm ET) (888) 327-4236 TTY: (800)424-9153
#5409 of 6400 Re: Explorer Transmission Problems [doug66]
Sep 28, 2006 (8:46 am)
I have said this over and over again, but here goes one more time. The FORD EXPLORERS with the SOHC V6 have problematic engines and problematic automatic transmissions. The model year 2002 and up have problematic rear axles due to the new full floating design and the aluminum rear axle gearbox housing. If you do your research and homework, you will find this to be true. That is why I own a 1997 Ford Explorer XLT V8 and a 2000 Ford Explorer XLT V8. These are good strong engines, transmissions and rear axles. I learned my lesson by owning 1991 and 1993 Ford Explorers, the V6 OHV engines were reliable, but the automatic transmissions were JUNK! I had to rebuild the transmissions in both of those vehicles more than once. I swore never again to buy anything again without finding out EVERYTHING about it FIRST. The Internet has made this research much easier now. It may be too late for you now, but next time look before you leap, study and research before you buy! Read all the Forums about the car you want to buy. Look for all the weak points, not just the features that you are looking for. Put reliability near the top of your list. You can't enjoy your car if it's broke down or giving you problems.
Do yourself and your friends a favor, Bookmark this messege and send it to all your friends.
#5410 of 6400 Re: Explorer Transmission Problems [doug66]
Sep 28, 2006 (5:26 pm)
i would try a different dealer. my '02 gradually shifted worse until i had the tranny flushed at 30k. just had it done at 60k again. not sure why they would put an additive in.
#5411 of 6400 Re: Explorer Transmission Problems [explorerx4]
Sep 29, 2006 (11:36 pm)
My AT transmission just went on my 02 XLT at under
40 K miles. Rebuilt transmission parts and labor is $4,200 + $ 140 for re-welding bolts. Car was in shop 900 miles ago and vehicle got excellent report as to condition on everything. 3rd gear is gone. Vehicle had normal transmission fluid level now. Also, the standard transmission service was done at 29K miles by dealer.
Another 02 XLT was in dealers shop with 68K miles, also with
transmission problems although I don't know specifics.
What's going on with this, especially at such relatively
#5412 of 6400 Re: Explorer Transmission Problems 
Sep 30, 2006 (8:18 am)
Again, you did not mention what ENGINE you have or what TRANSMISSION you have. Unfortunately, you are apparently not familiar with all the serious problems that these vehicles have been having for the last 4 years. Why do you think FORD is cutting back on half of it's workforce and production? I have been talking about this and expecting this for many years now. They can't build this junk, and expect to stay in business. I've been on these Edmunds Forums for over 10 years, I used to go by a different name. Please go to the top of the page to the SEARCH bar, and use it. Look for transmissions, rear axles, engines, etc. You will be totally amazed at all the problems that have been talked about on here. Then go to other forums all over the Internet, and you will find the same thing.
I've owned 4 Explorers over the last 8 years, and I will CERTAINLY not own another FORD again. My next vehicle is going to be a Honda or Toyota!
Please bookmark this messege and send it to all your friends.
#5413 of 6400 Failure to start
Sep 30, 2006 (2:29 pm)
I have an '03 Explorer XLT V6, 32000 mi. I had a new (for me) problem today. After driving up up and down a mountain pass(10000 - 11000 ft.) at slow speeds thru some mud and a little snow and part of the time in 4high, I returned to the highway and stopped to use a restroom. The car sat about 10 minutes, when I attempted to start it I got nothing. I had power, lights, alarms etc. but it would not crank or anything. I made sure it was in park, undid the gas cap etc, nothing worked. After about 45 minutes sitting waiting for a local mechanic to come, the car started right up (just as the mechanic pulled up). It reminds me of vapor lock in the older cars - the car just has to sit a while. I drove back home (about 80 mi), parked, washed the car and it started ok again. Does anyone have any idea what could cause this? Thank you.
#5414 of 6400 Re: Explorer Transmission Problems [electricdesign]
Sep 30, 2006 (2:50 pm)
It is the 6 cyl automatic. BTW, in an attempt to soften the
blow about mine going at under 40K, the service writer
said they had an Escape with a defective transmission
come in with under 1K miles recently. I don't know if the
dealers care since they'll get paid regardless, but major
repairs like this get billed to Ford when under warranty
or to Ford ESP if under their extended service plan. Does Ford sub-contract these transmissions when originally
installed new or are they manufactured by their own plant?
My opinion is the reason Ford is hurting now is more related to the price of gas and still some residual from the rollover issues of the late 90s.
#5415 of 6400 Re: Explorer Transmission Problems 
Sep 30, 2006 (4:57 pm)
i have an '02 and my brother in law has an '03(both with v-8). we have driven them pretty hard over the years. both have had some repairs, covered under warranty, although not always the first time.
we both agree they are the best overall vehicles we have ever owned. that is meant as a compliment, not that we drove a pos prior to what we have now.
Sep 30, 2006 (6:23 pm)
well, it seams that i have a problem. a while ago i had a serious overheating problem in my 1993 explorer. so, i flushed the radiator, changed the oil(it was mostly sludge),new spark plugs, new filters, new thermosdat(it was completely destrotyed and the obvious cause of the first overhating, the whole nine yards. then today, while up driving in the mountains, it happened again! when i start to go up a hill, the needle buried itself within 30 sec. the water pump is working and there are no leaks in the hoses as they are new. what i dont understand though, is when im driving on a flat surface, the temp rises. please help!!!!
#5417 of 6400 Re: overheating [curious_gears]
Sep 30, 2006 (7:52 pm)
I can help you with this, but remember, I'm a long way from you, and I have to depend on the information that you provide. I had a 1993 XLT, it was a good vehicle, except for the automatic transmission. How many miles on yours? How is it equipped? First, what JUMPED OUT at me was when you said "changed the oil(it was mostly sludge", that was a shocker. You should never let the oil get like sludge. How often do you change your Engine oil and filter? You should do an oil and filter change every 5,000 miles, or if you use a good Full Synthetic, a little longer. What kind of oil and filter do you use? Do you keep up all maintenance on the vehicle? Do you change the auto trans fluid and fuel filter every 30,000 miles, and change air filter every 15,000 miles or sooner if it gets dirty? Also, the thermostat being completly "destroyed" is very strange. They usually just stick closed or open, but I never heard of one that was "destroyed". As a first step, please be sure that all maintenance is kept up. Next, check for all the obvious things. Is the condenser and radiator clean? Is the fan and fan clutch in good shape? Does it pull plenty of air through the radiator? Is the cooling system clean inside? Is the system tight with no leaks? Are you loosing and coolant at all? Does the radiator and overflow tank stay full? If you are loosing coolant, then there is either an External leak at a gasket, hose or water pump, or an Internal leak at a gasket, usually a head gasket. Look for any oil in the coolant and any coolant in the engine oil. If the coolant level is good, clean, and it is tight with no external or internal leaks, and airflow is good, then we must look at circulation inside the system. You said you flushed it, but with what and how? There may be a restriction or clog in the radiator. If you can safetly feel the front of the radiator, feel for any differences in temperature while the engine is running. Cooler spots indicate a clogged radiator. Make sure the water pump is operating properly. Make sure the thermostat is not stuck closed. Buy a good one, not a cheap one. A good thermostat is good insurance. Also check the hoses, to be sure that they don't collapse, the lower hose can collapse when you give it the gas, if the internal spring inside has rusted out. Also check to see what temperature the cooling system operates at under different conditions. How accurate is your dash temperature guage? You can check the actual temp of the radiator and hoses with one of those infrared thermometers.
Check all this out and let us know what you find.
#5418 of 6400 Re: Explorer Transmission Problems 
Sep 30, 2006 (8:12 pm)
My opinion is the reason Ford is hurting now is more related to FALLING SALES.
I doesn't really matter to the owner who pays for the warrenty repairs, but they are still out of the use of their vehicles and they have all the aggravation to go through.
And what about a guy like me who buys a used vehicle 6 years old out of warrenty and plans to drive it for 6 years? He has to buy a reliable vehicle that won't break down and cost him money.
Meanwhile, the Honda and Toyota drivers are driving merrily down the road with big smiles on there faces.