6th Jul 2008, 20:02

Yes, all of the issues he mentions are simply required routine maintenance.

The spark plugs and wires were supposed to be changed at 100,000 miles, so they went 47,000 miles beyond their expected life.

The MAF sensor and oxygen sensor are nowadays considered as routine maintenance items as well.

Also, the transfer case fluid and automatic transmission fluid are supposed to be changed every 30,000 miles, according to the Haynes Manual, and I would doubt either has ever been changed.

They should also change the front and rear differential fluids, before they burn out the rear end and blame that on the car as well.

I guess we live in a society where nobody has any responsibility and everybody is a victim.

15th Jul 2008, 17:31

"Also, the transfer case fluid and automatic transmission fluid are supposed to be changed every 30,000 miles, according to the Haynes Manual, and I would doubt either has ever been changed."

Although I agree with most of this comment, I'm not sure about this portion. As a mechanic I generally advise going by the manufacturer's owner's manual. 30,000 miles for transmission fluid changes seems EXTREMELY often unless the vehicle has some very heavy-duty use.

I'm a big fan of the Hayne's repair manuals, but some of their recommendations area little extreme. I'd go with the owner's manual.

16th Jul 2008, 10:23

I have found that if you want your vehicle to last the longest, it's best to just go ahead and follow the "severe usage" schedule, or the shorter intervals in the Hayne's Manual.

When I bought my Explorer, I checked the rear differential fluid, and it was 30-50% low, starting to form a sludge. Had I followed the manufacturer's recommendation to not change or even check the differential fluid until 150,000 miles, my rear differential would surely have been destroyed.

As a result, I now follow the Hayne's recommendations, and check the fluid every 12,000 miles and change it every 30,000 miles. I also adhere to changing transmission fluid every 30,000 miles, as per the Hayne's Manual. That also seems extreme considering that I used to change the fluid on my old Dodge 727 Torqueflites every 100,000+, but the newfangled 5- and 6-speed automatics seem more fragile and seem to need more care than the old 3-speeds. I also change oil, even with synthetic or synthetic blend, every 3,000 miles.

Doing maintenance more frequently only extends the life of your vehicle, and the cost of a few quarts of fluid or oil, even at more frequent intervals, is negligible. I can't think of any valid reason to stretch out transmission/differential fluid changes to 150,000 miles, or oil changes to 7,000 miles. Why do it?

23rd Sep 2008, 16:30

I am currently on my second Ford Explorer. My first one was a 1991, bought as a recovered theft. Paid $500 and drove it for five years. Minor repairs, nothing pocket emptying. Took me to Florida and back twice, and many vacations to Maine (I live in NH). The tranny went at 240,672 miles. My boyfriend refused to fix it and told me to get rid of it. I refused, but caved in when he bought me my 1999. This is a salvage vehicle. Has had no major problems, brakes, shocks, oil, plugs etc. etc. It now has 154,000 on it and when it decides to pass on, I will be looking for another one. If you want perfect then buy new, but when you buy used, its just that, used.

24th Jan 2009, 07:23

Maintenance will keep any auto running far longer than anything, but as with my three Ford Taurus, my Ford Explorer's transmission went out between 80 and 85 thousand miles. They were under warranty and were replaced free. I called Ford motor co and a very nice lady sounded very concerned, but in the end, she let me know Ford motor company wasn't going to change anything in their engines. Business as usual.

7th Aug 2009, 09:55

I bought my 1999 Explorer Sport used with 89,000 miles on it. It had a blown motor and no reverse/5th gear in the manual transmission, so it was cheap. A new long block (with the revised cylinder heads) and a $20 gear in the transmission put it back on the road. Almost 100,000 miles later it's still going strong and gets 20-25 mpg.

Yes it has all the quirks; noisy power steering, air box howls loudly when hot, and idlers that squeal no matter how many Ford and aftermarket replacements I've thrown at it.

Am I going to trade it in as a "clunker"? (it qualifies) NO way! It gets me where I'm going, carries what I need and has NO payment. Seems like we need to reduce personal debt, so why would we fall for a program designed to add to it?

12th Aug 2009, 10:01

I also have a used 1999 Explorer with 113,000 miles not a bad car BUT it has a howling-whining noise when turning or coming to a stop. I checked the front wheel hubs & bearings seems smooth could this be the front CVC shafts? Any ideas??? When I put it in neutral and coast it does not make the noise!!!

12th Jun 2010, 17:43

Very happy owner of a 1999 Ford Explorer Sport with 180000+ miles. I bought her ("Ruby") used with 20,000 on her and she has done a lot of traveling up and down the Eastern seaboard over the last ten years, and I hope to keep her around for years to come.

My biggest complaints are: front windshield wiper switches on and off, like it decides it wants a day off now and then, and the rear wiper doesn't work; repetitive issue of the rear window hinges stripping, so I have to keep replacing; and she rides very hard on rough roads.

She has some dings and some cosmetic issues, but so do I, so I understand. I love my Ford Explorer. I feel safe riding in all sorts of conditions, and I have learned to do a lot of the maintenance myself, because she is not so high tech that I can't take care of things.

15th Jul 2010, 11:36

My 1997 Explorer also had a whining noise and after a while it got louder and when I took it in, I found out the auto 4 wheel drive was stuck and had to be fixed. Then everything was fine.

I purchased my used '97 Explorer XLT in 2005 with about 73K miles in it. I have traveled a lot and currently have 181800 miles on it. I like the information on changing the trans fluid and rear differential. I usually just have the oil changed and air filter changed. No major problems. It has had the belts changed along with the serpentine also since I bought it.

19th Aug 2010, 18:17

I have a 1999 Explorer with 165000 miles. Bought it 2nd hand many years ago, and have had no problems except today. Transmission needs repairing, at 2500 dollars. The car was lurching into 3rd gear, and the O/C light was flashing only when the engine was hot. Results from the transmission shop was the clutch had sheared with other problematics, and needs a transmission overhaul. With a 3 year warranty, I decided to go ahead with the repair, and hope to continue for a few more years.

Funny that my front windscreen wipers turn on randomly like a previous comment. I consider this a quirk, and decided to find it amusing.

20th Aug 2010, 09:37

It's more likely a short rather than a quirk. I would be looking at the multifunction switch, and the wiring from there to the wiper motor.

20th Aug 2010, 14:49

The multifunction switch is the cause of the windshield wipers having a mind of their own. My 2003 Ford Windstar had the same problem (and this problem is actually quite common on Ford vehicles in general). It was just another repair added to the long list of repairs my Ford required.

20th Aug 2010, 17:40

One of our imports (a Honda) had windshield wipers that would turn on when it started to rain. This was definitely a short in the wiring, but I found it amusing and saw it as a plus. Unfortunately the dozens of other major problems with the car were NOT so amusing!!

We have owned three Explorers since 1995, and found all three to be absolutely flawless.

6th May 2011, 12:28

I am also the proud owner of a 1999 Ford Explorer Sport, and it has been nothing but a great truck to me in rain, sleet or snow. It starts right up, and has never left me walking. If one day I have to get rid of her, I will be getting another Explorer, but this is my first car, and I don't think she's going anywhere.