2002 Ford Explorer Sport from North America - Comments

28th May 2008, 08:56

Me again, just wanting to let people know what has happened lately. I have now put on 190,000 km and the car has been trouble free up until about a month ago. The front left wheel bearing started to make noise and I noticed a small power steering leak. I brought it to the dealership and they looked at it and gave me their diagnosis that surprised me. They said the both front wheel bearings were gone, front tie rods, lower ball joints, upper control arm and power steering rack! Also, the stabilizer bar end fitting was totally absent. I was shocked, but even more shocked when they gave me the estimate. It was $4400.00!!! I told them to fix the leak and then I would come back for the rest at another time as I was tight for cash. They replaced the power steering rack and also the tie rods as they said I wouldn't have to pay for labour to change them since they had the rack removed anyways. Total was $1500 including tax.

I went home that night and noticed that the power steering fluid was still leaking. I looked under the car and it was leaking in the exact same place as it was before I got it repaired! It was even leaking the same amount and nothing had changed. I brought it back in the next day and they checked it out. Turns out it was a fitting that was leaking. I told them that from what I could see they miss diagnosed the problem and replaced a perfectly good rack. I asked to see it since it was taken off just the previous day. They told me they had already sent it back to Ford and it was impossible, but they would try to recover it. I waited and never got a call. I complained to Ford and all they did was call the dealership and take their word for it. I truly believe they replaced the rack when it was perfectly fine, but there was nothing I could do to prove it since they didn't have the rack anymore - at least that's what they told me.

I know quite a bit about cars and I inspected the leak before I brought it in. I couldn't tell where it was leaking without jacking up the car, but I do know the leak was in the same place both times. I was angry, so I decided to check out the other things they said were wrong with the car. If everything was wrong like stated I was ready to believe them.

I brought it to a friends mechanic and he checked everything out. He said everything was 100% with the exception of the left front wheel bearing. He replaced it for $380.00 including tax and labour! He also said the lower ball joints and control arms were solid as a rock! He said he would put it in writing so that I could complain to Ford, but I already been there - done that, and it got me no where.

Another thing I should mention that happened about a year ago. I brought my car in for brake pads to be replaced and they told me I needed all new rotors. I didn't have the money and told them to just put the pads on and I would fix them at a later date. The next week I went to another shop and had them checked as they were putting on new tires anyway. There was nothing wrong with the rotors and were thick as new and not scored at all - perfect condition! I figured it must have been a mistake on Fords part and thought not much of it. Now with everything else that has happened I realize it can't be all just bad luck. I will never go to a Ford dealership again, at least locally!

Last negative point to mention, the last time I brought it to the dealership for the power steering leak they also changed the oil and filter. After a couple days returning it to get 're-replaired' and getting it back home I noticed a huge puddle of oil under my car. Turns out they had forgotten to tighten the oil filter and I lost three quarters of my oil! I decided not to complain again as I was through with bringing it there anyways and was sick of being screwed around.

So basically the only thing that went wrong with my car to date has been a small leak from a fitting under the power steering rack, the left front wheel bearing and a left rear tail light bulb. Pretty good for a car with close to 200,000 km on it. So I would say the car has been great and Ford did an excellent job of making a good reliable vehicle, but the dealerships need some better regulating. If you complain all they do is call the dealership and take their word for what happened. I think if Ford fixes there problem with their dealer ships ripping people off, they would be a perfect company to buy from. I blame Ford for the dealership problems since they regulate it and it is their job to make sure they keep Ford's customers happy - at least within reason.

I don't know if I will ever purchase a Ford again after all that has happened. I know the car has been great and it is just a problem with the dealership, but it really left a bad image in my mind about Ford in general.

Tom.

31st May 2008, 15:02

I know what you mean. In December 2006 I bought a 2002 Ford Explorer Sport. Because it was the newest vehicle I'd ever owned, and because it was too cold to do my own maintenance at the time (I always do catch-up maintenance on any used car so I know where I am), I took it to the Ford garage in town so they could do the 60,000 and 75,000 mile scheduled maintenance.

I later realized that they hadn't checked the rear differential, which was half empty, even though they said they had checked all the fluids and I had asked them about it specifically. After that, I've gone back to doing my own routine maintenance (fluid changes, oil changes, filter changes, etc.) rather than trusting it to others.

I'm not convinced that the dealer was shady, or that they're trying to gouge you, but just that the quality or knowledge level of the staff varies (to put it nicely), and maybe their attention to detail isn't always what you'd like.

I would still buy another Ford, because I've been really impressed with this one (my first Ford after decades of Dodges), but I will probably continue to avoid dealerships in general, or at least shop around to find somebody trustworthy when something comes up beyond my ability. I don't believe that the dealers are bad, I just think it's a case that nobody else will care about your car as much as you do.

2nd Apr 2011, 19:19

How did you put 68,000 miles on it in 1 year?!?!? I don't believe it, sorry fella.

3rd Apr 2011, 12:24

Let's break it down:

* June 22, 2005: acquired with 88,320 km.

* July 31, 2007: added 80,000 km for a total of 168,320 km, which is an average of 40,000 km per year.

* May 28, 2008: vehicle had 190,000 km, reflecting an addition of nearly 22,000 km since the previous July.

* July 14, 2009: vehicle wrecked with a total of 230,000 km, which reflects the addition of 40,000 km since the previous year.

You obviously didn't do your math correctly to think he put 68,000 miles on in a single year!

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