I'm considering getting my wife an explorer, most likely a 2-3 year old 5.0 powered one. I'd like to find out more about variances in model years, options available, common problems and corrective actions, 2WD vs 4WD vs AWD, etc. I have time to search for the right one, so I'd just like to get the best info prior to buying one.
Dec 22nd, 2000
Posts: 290 From: Merced CA, 95340 Registered: Jun 2000
well, i dont normally like SUVs, but i've liked the explorers from the start when they replaced the bronco 2. havent paid much attention to them, but i guess so long as you watch proper tire pressure (as rated by the tire manufacturer, and not ford) and remember that everything around you when you are driving is closer than it looks, you should be fine. lol. i dont see any reason why it wouldnt be a good car for you. i'm not too sure they had AWD as an option, but i could be wrong. havent heard too many bad things about them, other than the firestone thing. sorry i cant be more help, maybe bringing this thing back to the top will bring some others out of the woodwork
------------------ UR2BITEME '87 econo coupe 170k and a bad fender :(
Posts: 4368 From: Flint, MI USA Registered: Sep 2000
I read the story on the new 2002 models, but $30,000+ is a LITTLE out of my range. I think they're putting the 4.6 V-8 in them, too, along with the independent rear end. Between the Fiero and my T-birds, I haven't owned a solid rear axle car since 1993. Getting into a truck will be a big change.
Posts: 49593 From: A Western Caribbean Island/ Columbus, Ohio Registered: Apr 99
i wouldnt think shed need 4wd in ga, just cost 2 times as much in maintainence. Myself if it was my wife, shed be in a minivan instead of ANY SUV. How bout a PT Cruiser, there cool and new there less than 20k, if you found a used one (only 1 yr old) itd still be cheaper than a 4 yo Explorer.
Dec 24th, 2000
Posts: 1685 From: Ottumwa, Iowa USA Registered: Nov 1999
4WD is for when I eventually move back up North. Uncle Sam has made me a temporary guest of this fine Georgia weather and hospitality, and I may be leaving sooner than I'd like. The PT Cruiser is good looking (like most new Chrysler stuff), but it's still a Neon at heart. I'm still not comfortable with Chrysler, with the engines changing every year or so. Seems like they ought to have it right by now.
For what its worth, my uncle has a '95 Explorer and he said it has treated him very well. Make note he takes care of his cars like the best of them. I have heard bad things about them but thats most likely due to the fact that the P/O abused it.
In my opinion I would get a REAL truck before an SUV for 4WD. But if your looking at SUVs I don't see anything wrong with Explorers.
------------------ Jeff '88 GT t-top 3.4 Baltimore, MD
Posts: 13418 From: Where you least expect me Registered: Jun 2000
If you're willing to consider other options, and if you're not going to be doing any serious off-roading and just want to have something good in bad weather, I would suggest a Subaru Outback, Forester, or SVX instead. (Or an AMC Eagle ).
One of the biggest factors affecting a vehicle's capability in bad weather is the tires. A smaller/lighter vehicle (like a subaru--or fiero )with good snow tires/studs will be better in bad weather than a truck or SUV with summer or all weather tires (especially if the SUV is 2WD).
Posts: 4667 From: St. Cloud, MN Registered: Apr 99
Well, so far I've seen 6 or 7 minivans, 2 cars, 1 SUV (jeep 4x4, sitting and spinning all 4 tires in 2+ feet of snow.. hehehe ) and 1 truck in the ditch up here. And the conditions weren't even that bad.. I'm trying to figure out why there's been so many minivans in the ditch, tho.. 1 of them that we saw had slid at least 20-25 feet away from the road...
Posts: 3172 From: Wichita, KS, USA Registered: Jun 2000
Friend of mine has one of the early Ford Explorers (don't know what year). The inside "pull" (looks like a towel bar) on the driver's door broke. He searched for replacement in salvage yards (new part too expensive); no luck, they were all taken. Apparently, it is (was?)a common prob.
The door had been sagging for several years- so it required lifting up on the (broken) "pull," in order to close the door. Annoyed my friend, because he had to roll down window, and pull door up/shut by grabbing outside handle. Also, couldn't just replace the "pull," but rather a semi-large area of the inner door panel.
He eventually took it to a mechanic, who replaced the panel (including the "pull"), and rebushed the hinges with bigger bushings from another make of truck. Anyway, the mechanic seemed to know what he was doing, and how to fix it (he'd seen this story before).
Again, this was an early Explorer. Not sure whether Ford redesigned or not. Just something to look for - and, if you're like me, I'd gripe about it to the seller, if the I found the problem on a car I otherwise would like to buy .
Sorry about the length. Good luck - hope you find a good vehicle at a reasonable cost
Patrick's Dad Member
Posts: 5154 From: Weymouth MA USA Registered: Feb 2000
When I was stationed in Minnesota back in 93-94, I got a real laugh out of all the Soccer Mom's in front wheel drive, ABS equipped mini-vans and the guys in their new Dodge 4X4's, all in the ditch. At least I realized that even with the extra help, you still can't stop or steer any better on glare ice. Some people need an accident to remind them that you can't still drive like it's 80 degrees and sunny, no matter what you have.
Posts: 243 From: Ft. Campbell/ Oak Grove, KY Registered: May 2000
I bought my 1999 Explorer Sport 4X4 in Fairbanks, AK. The family and I drove it to Huntsville, AL. It has been to South Carolina three times, Ft. Campbell, Kentucky four times and Ft. Benning, Georgia more times than I can count. The Explorer currently has 45K miles on it.
I canít say it has been problem free. But most vehicles donít take the abuse this truck has taken. Most vehicles weren't designed for 40 Degrees below zero. This alone, must be very hard on any car or truck.
Ok, so for my rough list of problems I've had with my Explorer. 1. Rear heater fan broken from the day of purchase. 2. Cruise control lights inop. 3. Windshield wipers motors came on when it wanted to at about 15K miles. 4. Rear wiper motor gave out at about 20K miles. 5. Front hubs/bearings replaced at about 20K miles. 6. Brake problems- Excessive squealing/ warping from day of purchase. 7. Engine knock from day of purchase. 8. Door locks sometimes donít want to unlock. I have to use the key and keep it in the unlock position while opening door to get the door open. 9. Seat belt, left rear died. Replaced by dealer.
Although the list seems rather long, itís been a faithful vehicle. The problems with the Explorer have not angered me nearly as much as Ford service. Obviously I canít speak for all Explorers or all Ford service shops but my experience with my local Ford dealer left something to be desired.
This truck is my wifeís daily driver. It has also moved my family across the U.S. Not once has it left us walking. My only recommendation is the truck get inspected by a neutral party. Good Luck.
This is my Explorer on my trip from Alaska. (Somewhere in Canada)
Thanks for the list. Seems like all Fords have problems with rotors warping. All three of my t-birds have experienced this. I feel your pain with getting any warranty work done, especially intermittent problems like wipers and seat belt retractors. Cool website, too.
Posts: 243 From: Ft. Campbell/ Oak Grove, KY Registered: May 2000