Last post on May 05, 2013 at 7:47 AM
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Ford Explorer, Mercury Mountaineer
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#654 of 6385 what's wrong with 1999 explorers
Apr 04, 2001 (9:41 am)
I am in the market to buy my first SUV. For years the Ford Explorer has been rated one of the best values for your money. Consumer Reports has recommended Exporers for years, except for the 1999 model. It is on their "unreliable used cars" list. Does anyone know why? I'm not sure if I should shop for a '98 or 2000 model instead or maybe another SUV all together. Any advice would be appreciated.
Apr 04, 2001 (11:10 am)
Explorer. It was as bad as my 97. If you can find a good 96 with low miles, I would go for it over any model 97- 2000.
#656 of 6385 second that...
Apr 04, 2001 (5:37 pm)
anything BEFORE the '97's. a happy explorer owner will most likely have an older one.
#657 of 6385 Creakly Eddie Bauer 98 Explorer
Apr 04, 2001 (8:34 pm)
I have a 1998 Explorer which has the "creaking" sound. I have complained continuously to my local dealer. They have great service and really take care of me, but they have never been able to fix the creaking sound. At first they didn't believe me until my salesman stood between the passenger and drive doors, put his hand on the roof rack a pushed the truck back and forth. It sounded like a wooden ship creaking on the high seas.
I have 57,000 miles on my explorer and have made my last lease payment. I have always felt that the quality of the suspension on my Explorer was less than good. Too many noises and rubbing sounds when I would turn right or left.
My dealer also replaced my transmission at 34,500 miles. I diagnosed the bad transmission myself in that the shifting pattern suddenly changed and would "clunk" in between gears. I have heard that the transmissions in 1998 Explorers have had alot of problems.
I just leased a new Chevy 2002 Trailblazer. We'll see if Chevy has a better suspension.
#658 of 6385 satisfied with my 98
Apr 04, 2001 (11:02 pm)
I have a 98 XLT V8 AWD with 41k and have had no major problems to speak of. I have taken it off road in the snow, sand and creeks. Never been stuck and I havnt experienced any suspension noise. No interior noise either. Overall I am very pleased with the preformence of the entire package. Although I drive it hard I am meticulous with the maintenance, even filling it with synthetic. I can say from experience that creaks in the suspension are typically caused by rubber bushings that are without lubrication. I rebuild a 68 firebird and encountered the same problem when I installed new bushings without a film of synthetic grease. This caused a loud groaning noise when moved. Penetrating synthetic lubricant directly on control arm and sway bar bushings may alleviate an annoying groan. I hope this can help anyone out there with the same symptoms as georgiam's 98.
Apr 06, 2001 (6:39 am)
Ford lost their Quality is Job 1 ad campaign and with it the quality control motivation. I am not saying that the explorer is junk, but just that very little is done to make sure that things are put together correctly before going out the door. There were some design problems, like the timing chain tensioners and gaskets on the SOHC engine, but most of the problems I see and read about here are related to poor build... even the Firestone problem shows that Ford is more concerned with cash than your safety...remember that they recalled the same defective tires in Saudi Arabia in 1999, a year before in the US.
#660 of 6385 97 Explorer XLT - "SQUATS"
Apr 07, 2001 (8:14 am)
I have a 97 XLT and have experienced ALL the "usual" problems and more. Fortunately I have a good and responsive dealer.
Has anyone noticed that their Explorers squat even with the lightest load?
It isn't a real problem except that oncoming drivers are blinded by my headlinghts and it looks funny.
Apr 07, 2001 (1:18 pm)
I've owned a 1997 XLT, 1999 XLT, and 2000 XLS. They all sagged in the rear with even the lightest of loads. I'm talking like a 20 pound box of dog biscuits is enough to make it look different while sitting on the street. I always try to load stuff as close to the back seat as possible.
PS...I'm gonna stay in this room and talk about the Explorers built on an actual truck platform. The people in the 2002 Explorer room didn't take kindly to my comment that the 2002 looks like a minivan on Steroids. Hint, hint...park a Windstar and a 2002 Explorer side by side. Look at the slope of the rear ends on each. They also called our "old" trucks inferior. All I know is my rear window hasn't shattered for no reason as of late, and my truck has not yet exploded due to a fuel tank rupture.
Apr 08, 2001 (9:22 am)
There are a couple of things that you can do that are not too expensive.
1- adjust your headlights so they aim lower... see a haynes manual for how to do that.
2- Next time you are at your mechanic, ask him to lower the setting on the front torsion bars, which will level the truck and make the rear end come up.
3- replace the crap ford shocks with something better.
#663 of 6385 njdevilsrn
Apr 08, 2001 (9:30 am)
I saw that insensitive remark that that guy posted on the 2002 discussion, and I thought about replying, but it would probably start a war or something, he does not seem too bright... so I let it go and ignored him...
Yes, I agree that the 2002 Explorer is more a car than an offroad vehicle, but Ford realized that most of these vehicles are being used in minivan type applications, and do not need offroad capability, hence the less aggressive tires and the independent suspension.... but I was surprized how they cheapened the interior (wouldnt creature comforts be more important to that type of buyer) and one of the best things about my 2000 is the rear view mirror!
The 2001 is not an inferior vehicle to the 2002, just different, and you probably paid a lot less for it than a comparably equipped 2002 would be (and you don't have to be a test dummy for Ford) ... The 2002 is a different vehicle, with a accent towards a different type of consumer than say, a Jeep or Land Rover buyer.