Like many others with Explorers/Mountaineers this rig has had it's fair share of problems, including transmission problems.
With that side note aside:
We bought the rig used with 60,300 miles on it.
- The low oil pressure light came on just two months after we bought it. We took it to the dealer and they said they inspected it and couldn't find a problem, so the protocol was to change the instrument cluster. They changed it ($100 deductible) and then they had to change it again because the first one they put on was faulty. So in reality the car has 2k more miles on it than it really shows on the odometer.
- The transmission shudders:
Ford dealer found the torque converter to be warped, replaced torque converter. Also found rear and front differential seals leaking, replaced seals. The flex plate was also replaced. Transmission still shudders though.
Update: Mercury dealer says that these rigs "just do that" because of their computerized shifts.
- The climate control makes a big thud sound once per drive; the dealer says that this is a problem with the heater door getting stuck and does not hinder performance of the system, nor is covered under the extended care warranty, unless the door breaks (which may or may not happen). Update: Now the blower motor is making a rattling noise that's quite annoying at 67K miles. Dealer says that this semi-loud noise is not covered under the warranty.
- The suspension squeaks over bumps. The dealer sprayed some lithium spray on the bushings and it seemed to fix the problem for a couple months, but now the squeak is back. Update: Dealer just replaced bushings, covered under warranty.
- The driver's side window seems like it's not on the right tracks, makes a jerking like sound when I go over bumps.
-9/17/07 car broken down at drive-thru, has to be pushed then towed.
Wednesday 9/19 I'm having it towed to Lincoln mercury in the next city closest by.
9/19 - 0xygen sensor bad. Fixed for 100 deductible.
Update 9/20 - Got rig back, seems to be running very well, reminds me of why I love this car (when it's running well that is). The wheel bearing also had to be replaced.
10/07 - New tires and front rotors done. Rotors were completely rotten.
11/22/07 - Rear differential was overhauled, many parts replaced, covered under warranty. Was making a loud whirring noise from the back before they fixed it.
-12/07 Front differential seal fixed again.
-12/07 ABS sensor on...will see what it is.
Found problem - rear abs sensor replaced, brake master switch replaced. $100 deductible. Rig now has 70,900 miles.
Constant problems with this rig. Seems like it's in the shop every other week. Tired of it.
Overall we like the car, but I think I'll trade it in once the warranty is over @84K and get something else (considering new Honda pilot or possibly Buick enclave.
On the plus side, it's great in the snow and the rain. It drives incredibly smooth on the freeway, feels like the car is floating. Lots of leg space and arm space for all passengers. Spaciousness is a big plus over other smaller SUVs. Seats are comfortable, luxury features like heated seats are nice. Stereo sounds very nice, lots of bass with sub woofer in back. Third row is even reasonable for someone under 6 foot. Some cheap materials are evident on the inside, like the shifter nob...but mercury fixed this on the newer rigs (2006 and later). I want to keep this rig till 120k or 140k, I just don't think it'll last that long.
The gas mileage however is awful, but I knew this from the beginning. In a 50/50 mix of highway/city driving the car averages about 14-15 MPG.