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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Jul 05, 2001 (8:50 am)
Read through the board for a lot of discussion on Explorer problems.
My thoughts...stay away from a 1999 Explorer. A lot of people (myself included) on here have posted about a plethora of problems with this model year. Consumer reports also gives the 1999 Explorers some of the worst ratings the Explorer has gotten since it came out in the early 90s.
As for the trucks, the XLS comes with the 4.0 OHV engine. It has about 35 fewer horsepower than the SOHC 6 cylinder, but has had a lot fewer problems. This is basically the same engine they have been using in Explorer and Ranger for nearly 10 years. The XLT comes with the SOHC engine, and an optional V8. The SOHC engines from 1997-1999 model years were bothered by a timing belt tensioner problem and leaks with the manifold. Ford did offer an extended warranty on the engine to owners of trucks with the SOHC engines because of these problems.
Hope this helps.
Jul 05, 2001 (4:05 pm)
but I think ace10 has it nailed. the noise is speed dependent and at higher speeds i can tell that it blends into a faint whine. I'll try the downhill(you really did'nt think i'd try coasting up hill did you?) test then put this on the ford techs. I've had writeups for this before my 75k warrnty expired, I just hope they don't try to jack me around and say it's a different problem. Really though, the 96 hasn't been a bad truck, my share of nitpicking small stuff but it's logged some hard city miles and hauled some heavy stuff. tows a 1100 lb boat real easy too.
Jul 07, 2001 (4:36 am)
XL/XLS is the base model. XLT is the mid-grade model. An XL/XLS can be optioned out to equipment levels close to an XLT, but not quite. The XLT was probably the most popular model during the 97-99 model year as it offered the best value for the dollar in terms of equipment and price.
Yes, the SOHC V6 comes only with the 5spd automatic. XL/XLS models came standard with a 4.0L OHV engine. The SOHC engine was an option in the XLT models beginning with the '97 model year. The SOHC was also an option on XLS models beginning with the '00 model year. Most XLT models in the 97-99 model year range will have the SOHC engine (it was a popular option), but there may also be some running around with the OHV engine.
The 4WD is always on in the sense that there is not a 2WD setting. The choices are 4WD Auto, 4WD High and 4WD Low. The normal setting is auto, and the truck basically is rear-wheel drive in this setting. However, as soon as the rear wheels slip the front wheels will automatically engage. It is a good system and is not intrusive in any way when it kicks in.
The SOHC engine is the biggest problem. There are issues with the timing belt tensioners. Ford has even extended the engine warranties for some owners for the components directly related to the problem.
Don't know of any ball joint problems. I would assume no worse than any other similar vehicles on the market.
#834 of 6400 93 explorer starter woes
Jul 10, 2001 (8:33 am)
My 93 Explorer has beginning to give me intermittent starting woes. Sometimes it starts, others it just clicks. Also, on occasion, when it does start it sounds like the starter is still engaged and makes a sound like you are trying to start it while it is running? Does anyone have this problem? I am not sure if it is the starter, the relay, or I've heard that the positive cable goes bad on these cars and that may be the problem.
#837 of 6400 Disappearing Coolant
Jul 11, 2001 (7:51 am)
I had the disappearing act with the coolant on my '91 Explorer and found out it was caused by one of two things. The upper heater hose connection would leak onto the manifold where you could sometimes see the antifreeze laying or the heat from the manifold would evaporate it. The other happened twice. The gasket between the core and tank on the upper hose side of the radiator leaked. The leak was so slight that when the vehicle was stopped, the heat from the radiator would evaporate what was leaking out. The best way to see it is to lay on the gound and look up with a flashlight along the radiator and you will see the stains and sometimes the antifreeze. At first it looks like the upper hose is leaking but it's not. Solution is new radiator. Get one with lifetime warranty so when that one leaks you can exchange it. Swapping radiators takes about 20 minutes.
#838 of 6400 Door bottom "gaskets"
Jul 11, 2001 (8:29 am)
Have a '00 Explorer and love it. On the inside bottom of each of the front doors is a long rubber gasket/shield held in by 4 or 5 white plastic fasteners. Does anyone know of a source for these fasteners? The rubber shield on my driver's side is slightly loose and it appears to be due to a loose fastener (they are all loose, but one significantly more than the others).
#839 of 6400 Should I purchase a "96 Eddie Bauer?
Jul 11, 2001 (9:45 am)
Question for mazman1 or other knowledgeable people. I'm strongly considering purchasing a 1996 Eddie Bauer with 96,000 miles. I have a very good relationship with dealer and so far I've herd of no serious problems with the vehicle. The truck was a local trade with very good maintenance record. My concerns are about the high miles and what may lie ahead. I plan on purchasing an extended warranty but would love some feedback on what others think. Would you buy the vehicle? What would you check out before shelling out the cash? I've had the truck for 7 days and have put 200 miles on it during my extended test-drive and I've been very happy with how it runs. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
#840 of 6400 jtn - What to look for in evaluating a used car purchase:
Jul 11, 2001 (12:26 pm)
Thanks for hte special request. I hope I can help.
I owned a 1994 Explorer (with the v6 OHV) and I now own a 2000 Explorer with the v6 SOHC. tHE 1996 Explorer you are looking at has a 4.0 L OHV engine. It is not as powerful as the V8 or the SOHC, but has a lot fewer problems. The 1996 model year was one of the best for Explorers.
The 1997-1999 versions of the SOHC had many problems.. to the point that Ford had to extend the warranty to 72,000 miles on the cam tensioners (there are 3 in the SOHC - two in the front and one in the back) and the lower manifold gasket. To change the timing chains on the SOHC, you have to lift the engine out of the vehicle.. which is very involved and can get very expensive if not under warranty. The OHV engine, although less powerful (especially if you are towing) still got me several speeding tickets. The OHV was much simpler engine and easier to service. That's my two cents.
What I would look at when evaluating ANY vehicle: These are easy to do without getting really dirty:
1. If you are buying it from an invdividual, ask to see the repair and service history. If the person really took care of it, they would save all of the repair work receipts. That's the kind of person to buy a used car from.. somebody who cared to change the oil every 3,000 miles and kept good records of any problems. When was the radiator last flushed? Hoses changed? Spark plugs and wires changed? Air cleaner changed?
2. look at the fluid levels and smell them (especially the tranny fluid) to check for a burning smell. Are the fluids uniform in color with no oil floating in the top of the radiator reservoir bottle (this can mean tranny fluid has breached the barrier and is in your radiator, and consequently, coolant is in your tranny).
3. Are there any puddles under where the vehicle is parked?
4. Check the air cleaner element. If it is relatively clean, the owner cared to change it and probably did not drive it in sand or mud which can get into the lubrication points in the suspension as well as rot the brakes, which are not so easy to see.
5. Is there a tow hitch on the vehicle? If so, how heavy a trailer was towed, and was it towing a boat? Many times when you have to launch a boat, the rear wheels can go into the water. The salt water can rust the chassis as well as the brakes if not washed off immediately. Also a very heavy trailer can put a strain on the tranny. The max load on most Explorers is about a 2500 pounds trailer, and 300 pounds at the tongue, unless there were modifications done.
6. Check the interior and try to decide that the odometer reading makes sense based on the condition of the drivers seat and carpet.
6. Look for muck in the tailpipe. This can be a indicator of a gasket leak allowing coolant or oil through the system.
7. Get in the car and before starting the engine look around to see that everything looks uniform ... no new seats or new interior panels.
8. Before starting the engine, push down on the brake pedal until the master cylinder is discharged. The with your foot on the brake pedal (without touching the gas pedal), turn on the engine. If the brake booster comes alive under your foot as the engine is started and returns to normal function quickly, then the booster and master cylinder are in good shape.
9. Drive the car with the windows open and the radio off. Listen for noises from the engine, brakes and suspension. When you step on the brakes firmly, does it stop evenly without a shudder or pedal vibration (could be warped rotors). Does the engine choke a bit when you get heavy on the gas and does it hesistate on launch after a stop light?
10. Lastly, talk with the owner and ask him right out why he is selling the car and was it ever in an accident, stolen or submerged in water (many cars are sold after a flood storm). Be wary of guys that want cash that day or are not too knowledgeable about the vehicle. They may have just bought it, found out that there is something wrong and want to unload it. Carfax.com could be your best friend here.