Last post on Apr 05, 2003 at 3:20 PM
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Ford Explorer Sport
#13 of 22 don't forget used car rule number one...
Mar 11, 2003 (4:42 pm)
it was somebody else's problem.
Mar 12, 2003 (8:14 am)
And the certified ones are not necessarily anywhere close to brand new operating condition!
Worn shocks, suspension pieces,etc....dirty plenum and TB,etc. Most places mount new tires, replace battery and spend the rest on a detailed cleaning,wax and polish.......shiny and bright blinds the potential buyers eyes!
Most cars other than lease returns are sold because they need something. Even the lux ones are sold to avoid the 60,000 mile service [$1200].
It amazes me what people don't know concerning the second most expensive item in most peoples budget [transportation].
We always find $2,000-$3,000 in deferred and need work on almost every prebuy inspection we do! A smart buyer always budgets this much for surprises.
Mar 12, 2003 (8:30 am)
That's why I always hammer these reliability stats--they give people false confidence and do not allow for neglect, which many many used cars are subjected to, regardless of what Consumer Reports thought about them 5 years ago.
#16 of 22 Just a thought....
Mar 12, 2003 (10:58 am)
but try cleaning that MAF sensor before having it replaced. I have heard (but not verified) that you can take throttle body cleaner and clean the MAF sensor. If you try that and still get error codes, replace it.
The rear brakes and fluids should have been caught my you or your mechanic who inspected the vehicle prior to purchase. As far as the differentials, my manual for my 98 Explorer 4wd says that the fluid should only need to be changed every 100k miles. Of coarse, you should verify this with your owners manual.
#17 of 22 '97 Explorer Sport Woes - I need some help.
Apr 03, 2003 (10:35 am)
My '97 Explorer Sport has a very strong rotten egg smell after I've driven for as little as 10 minutes. I get the smell every time I stop at a light or stop sign, etc. Some days the mix is stronger smelling. Outside conditions do not seem to have an impact on the problem. I've had several different Ford dealers take a look at it (one dealer kept it 3 days) as well as different repair shops and all but one could not (supposedly) recreate the problem. The one that did smell it, really didn't have a clear response. I've asked all of them if it could be the catalytic converter or a sensor, but was basically ignored. I never get a check engine light, so I have nothing to go on. I've been living with this problem for 2 1/2 years. I bought the truck used with 20,000 miles and it now has 69,700. Got any ideas?
Apr 03, 2003 (5:04 pm)
have you tried different gas suppliers and grades? higher sulfur gasolines will stink more, and there are no and low sulfur gas brands at some stations, with more to come for a 2005 EPA deadline. typically, more of them are sold in the premium or near premium grades in pollution areas, but we have a very low sulfur regular from Flint Hills availiable in the Twin Cities metro area as well since they rejiggered their refineries with 2005 in mind a couple years ago on their last refit.
ours is sold as "blue planet" gas at Holiday. California is also quite active with no-sulfur plans, and I think Chevron is a leader in availiability. if somebody is supplying 2005 grade fuel in your area, it's almost certainly going to be advertised in a manner similar to, "SPILCO. We make the clean gas the government has demanded for 2005 right now. Because we live here, too."
Apr 03, 2003 (5:45 pm)
I'll try a couple of tanks of the lowest sulfer brand I can find and see what happens. Will high sulfer gas actually make my truck smell that bad? I sit at a light and it fills the car up in a matter of seconds (when I have a window down) or if you step out of the truck and stand by it while its running, it will gag you.
#20 of 22 it's supposed to make a difference
Apr 03, 2003 (8:32 pm)
I haven't had the problem (thank God!) but it's supposed to be a big improvement. most of the vehicles I get queasy behind are imports, and they are designed in places where they already have serious laws against sulfur in fuels. the US is way behind the curve here.
Apr 04, 2003 (7:59 am)
Almost all crude from Venezulea and Mexico and Canada is high sulfur......Iraq and middle east are lowest and some Texas sweet. Old wine vs fresh ripple........and half and half.
Refineries are custom built to handle specific types of crude and you cannot use good oil in those designed for bad oil, either.
Isn't it nice that US drivers use 12% of world output each day......slurp.
#22 of 22 My Opinions
Apr 05, 2003 (3:20 pm)
Your Lincoln-Mercury deal checked off a lot of things 'we would like to do', to the tune of $2,500.
First thing I would do, is try to find an reputable independent garage to do your work. Ask around at you new 'home'. Ask several people. All this work can be done at an independent for much less money that a dealer.
It needs a mass air flow sensor for code 173 on the check engine light,
-Get a shop to clean this first. A cleaning will usually solve the 'code' being set. Make sure the battery cable is pulled to reset the code. If the code comes back again after cleaning, a new one might be the only solution. These do not have to be bought at Ford, the shop can buy at parts house for half or less than Ford price. Cleaning - $75.
needs new spark plug wires and clean spark plugs.
-If the milage is 50,000 or more this probably will help. Get wires and new plugs both. Parts should be about $50, plus labor of about $75.
Needs rear pinion seal.
-This probably isn't 'critical', depending on how much it leaks. Have gear grease added and see if it leaks a lot. My wild guess to fix - $100.
Needs rear brakes, and for the brake fluid to be drained and replaced.
-Shop should turn drums and new shoes for about $125.
Rear diff needs servicing.
-What's the milage on this thing? If not over 100,000 miles this is not needed. Of course, the leaking pinion seal leaks diff grease. So, fixing this will involve 'servicing', which means replacing the grease.
Engine throttle body needs servicing.
-This is an operation where a clamp is removed and a 'tube', the throttle body, is swabbed out with cleaner. Maybe a little tooth-brushing applied also. Shop should do this for $75.
Transmission fluid needs to be flushed and filter replaced.
-Who knows. I change mine about every 30,000 miles. Some people never change it. Shop should do for about $100. Don't spring for the 'flush' job, this could cause more problems than it helps on higher milage vehicles.
What's the total for this all, about $600? These are my somewhat 'wild' guesses for what you could get this done at a decent shop. I might be off here. But if I'm off by 100%, this still would be about half of what the dealer priced it to you.
You bought a used car. Without inspection, probably, to find this stuff. It was not a lemon by any means. And, I'm sure the sale was 'as is', so you have no legal recourse. And you've probably driven it several thousand miles since purchase, since you moved.