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.
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Nov 11, 2007 (9:19 am)
I'm never buying another Ford. I used to be a staunch "Buy American"
consumer. As American car companies market share continued to plummet, I
continued to feel that it is my patriotic duty to buy American.
Well, I finally woke up and realized that everyone else is right, and that I
Last week the O/D light came on in my Ford Explorer. I drove it right home
and got the manual out to see what the problem was. "Transmission problem"
was what the manual indicated, as well as several websites I reviewed.
I didn't worry at first, since I figured this would be covered under
warranty. My Explorer is just under 5 years old and just under 60K miles.
Surely there would at least be a 60K power train warranty. No one would buy
a vehicle if they knew the transmission would only last 59K miles.
Well, the dealer told me a new transmission was needed (5th and 2nd gears
were worn down), that it would cost $3500, and that it is not covered by
warranty. And to add insult to injury he charged me $90 to tell me the
transmission was bad (something I obviously knew) - isn't this similar to
I then asked him what trade in value I could get (not that I really would
buy another poor quality Ford, but I wanted to explore all options). $5500
is the most they could give. I laughed - since I had taken very good care of
the vehicle. It told me that they didn't want the vehicle either - so much
for them really standing behind their product. They know the quality is
Obviously I was quite irritated. I asked what caused this. None of the
possibilities applied since I took good care of the vehicle and had it
serviced according to the maintenance manual. In fact, the dealer (Cover
Ford in Austin) did the 30K checkup. I spent $1K on that (and probably got
I took it to a transmission specialist and had it fixed for under $2500. He
informed me that he sees a lot of issues like this with Explorers - probably
a poor design and poor quality. Also, judging by various websites there are
indeed lots of complains like this.
I wouldn't be surprised if Ford knew of the poor design - since the warranty
that came with the vehicle was only 3 yr/36K even for powertrain. If Ford
had good quality, why couldn't they step up to the plate and offer 60K or
even 100K power train warranty. They must have known the poor quality. In my
mind, this is deceptive practice - and I kick myself for not recognizing
this as a red flag.
Well, for the 2008 Explorer I see Ford is offering 60K powertrain warranty.
So they must have made some improvements (which further underscores their
recognition of the poor quality in earlier years). But it's still a far cry
from 100K that some vehicles come with. You also have to wonder what other
quality issues are lurking.
I think the choice is now clear to me. In the future I will be considering
something like a Honda Pilot. Ford deserves the trend of lower market share.
Consumers are very wise, and the quality the provide is reflected in their
declining sales and marketshare.
Please don't make the same mistake I made. The foreign competition provides
much better quality and customer service.
#5934 of 6400 Re: Don't buy an Explorer [ginamillar2000]
Nov 12, 2007 (8:47 pm)
Well said, ginamillar.
I too used to be a staunch "buy american" advocate. I've owned 4 Explorers in a row (1990, 1993, 1997, 2000). But seeing how the market has changed so much through the 1990's and 2000's, my next buy will definitely not be an American brand. I'll probably be looking at a Honda Element or Toyota Highlander very soon.
#5935 of 6400 Battery And Lights
Nov 14, 2007 (10:36 pm)
I need help. I own a 1997 Ford Explorer and it has been sitting idle for the past 3 or 4 months as I have not been able to use it. My battery must have completly lost its charge because I have to constantly jump start it. I will jumpstart it and then an hour later when I try to start it again, it wont start. As soon as I noticed this problem, I noticed another. My daytime running lights were working fine, but as soon as I switched to my night lights, the headlamps would shut off. This is a new problem as they worked before I let the vehicle sit. I was wondering if maybe the lights problem might be connected to my battery problem, because the lights did turn on briefly the othey day when I jumped it. But they shut off after about ten minutes. I checked all my fuses, so that is not the problem. I was wondering if anyone has any advice on what my problem might be, and how I might be able to fix it. Thanks
#5936 of 6400 Re: 1998 ford explorer [mrkevv07]
Nov 15, 2007 (2:01 pm)
For what it is worth, my daughter's Tracer did the same thing. I got a master control switch (the driver's door switch) from a junker and solved the problem. I figured if all the fuses and relays were good, and all the windows quit at the same time, it was probably the main switch.
#5937 of 6400 Re: Battery And Lights [jondomke]
Nov 15, 2007 (2:12 pm)
I would assume that you know that the Battery is good and is being charged by the alternator correctly. Does your battery gauge read normal when the engine is running with the lights and accessories on? If battery and charging is OK, then that means something is draining the battery.
Do you mean that when you turn your "Night Lights" on, your headlights go off? If you turn the headlights on by themselves, do they work OK?
Does anything stay on when you turn of the lights and remove the keys?
If you battery is being drained, and you can't easily find what the cause is, you may need to do a "parasitic battery drain test". There should be no more than 25 milliamps of current being drained from the battery when everything is off. That is .025 amp, a tiny amount of current. .050 amp could drain the battery over night. If you need info on how do do this I can post it here.
#5938 of 6400 Re: Battery And Lights [electricdesign]
Nov 16, 2007 (11:10 am)
Nothing stays on when the keys are taken out and everything is turned off. The only problem I am having is pretty much the fact that the headlamps will not turn on when I switch them on inside the car. I know for a fact that the bulbs are not burnt out, as they were working for a couple minutes. I would like some info on how to do that battery test. That would be awesome if you could post that on here. I was also wondering, when you put water in your battery does it absolutely have to be distilled water? I read in the owners manual but I could not really figure it out.
#5939 of 6400 Ford Explorer XLT 2008 V8 Engine Noise
Nov 16, 2007 (2:08 pm)
Have just under 400 miles on my 2008 Explorer with the V8. When the car is in park and idling it makes a "popping" noise roughly every 18 seconds. It is audible inside the car with all the windows closed and very audible when the hood is open. Is this just some pump or something that wakes up every 18 seconds no matter what or does this sound like an issue with the engine?
#5940 of 6400 Re: Battery And Lights [jondomke]
Nov 16, 2007 (9:08 pm)
OK, here is the general procedure for the parasitic current draw test, this will apply to any car that uses a 12 volt lead acid battery system.
You need to find what is draining your battery by checking "PARASITIC CURRENT DRAW" from your battery. Your car has ELECTRONIC MODULES that draw current when they are first connected. After they "settle down", usually in about 2 to 5 minutes, the parasitic current drain on you battery should be down to about 25 ma (milliamps) (.025 Amp). Do the following test procedure, and if you find your draw is too high, pull fuses one at a time to see if you can isolate the source of the excessive current draw. If your Parasitic Current Draw is still high after pulling all fuses, try disconnecting the Alternator, and other electrical equipment until the source of the excessive current draw is found.
PARASITIC CURRENT DRAW TEST:
Start with a fully charged Battery. Turn everything in the car OFF, close the door, remove the light bulb from under the hood, glove compartment, trunk, etc, so that nothing you know of is on. Remove the negative cable. Place a 5 amp fuse & a 1 ohm/10watt resistor in series with the negative cable, then wait a few minutes to allow the modules to settle down, then proceed. Connect a Digital Volt/Ohm Meter across the resistor and do a simple voltage drop test. Results = for example, a .022v draw = a 22mA draw. When you have minimal computers/radios/etc a maximum of 25mA is optimal. If you have multiple computers/cell phones/alarms/etc expect a higher number to be normal, though the cell phones/alarms should be OFF for this test. Over 30ma should be investigated and over 50ma should be corrected. Check manufacturers specs to be sure of what it should be for your particular vehicle.
For your headlight problem, you will need a wiring diagram to figure that out.
About the distilled water, yes, you should always add only distilled water to the battery. This also applies to the radiator, if you premix the antifreeze with water, use only distilled water. I always keep at least 6 gallons of distilled water in my garage.
E.D. In Sunny Florida">
#5941 of 6400 Re: Ford Explorer XLT 2008 V8 Engine Noise [njexplorerguy]
Nov 16, 2007 (9:17 pm)
I am guessing that it is most likely the Air Conditioning clutch making the sound. This sound may be normal, as sometimes they can be heard in the car. Most people don't notice it because they have the radio on. Open the hood and see if you can tell where the sound is coming from. Your car is way too new to be asking here, take it to the dealer and have it checked, it just may need to be tightened down to quiet it down. They are not really adjustable, but it may be loose.
#5942 of 6400 98 Ford Explorer Sport Emergency Brake
Nov 26, 2007 (4:37 pm)
I heard a noise coming from left rear wheel nothing major just some squeaking. I brought it in to have looked at, and was told I needed new emergency brakes pads plus rotor... I just had new brakes with rotors done 7k miles ago.
Also the Price they gave was close to 600....
Can anyone clear this up for a non mechanic?