Other Explorer Issues

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The following is a list of problems that I have had on my 2000 Eddie Bauer Ford Explorer.  I put this out there as information for anyone else who may  be experiencing the same frustrations that I am dealing with...and hopefully I have a solution for you.  I am also hoping to hear if you have any of the same problems.  I'm curious how wide spread some of these issues are.  Feel free to send me an email at dharrison@shareamemory.com

My vehicle is equipped as follows:
- Wagon Eddie Bauer 4-Dr Year 2000
- 4.0L SOHC V6 210HP
- Spruce Green
- 4WD
- Front Side Airbags
- Heated Front Seats
- Power Moonroof with Shade
- Trailer Towing Prep Package
- Reverse Sensing System
- Skid Plates
- Radio Ford MACH Audio System
- 6 Disc CD Changer
- Leather Sport Bucket Seats

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CURRENT STATUS 68,XXX Miles:

Popping noise coming from the front suspension...especially noticeable when taking a tight turn (at low speeds).  It seems to be in the shocks, so I'm not going to mess with it until I'm due for some new tires and shocks.

It seems like I am about due from some brakes.  I'm hearing a slight sqeak coming from the brakes when I apply them, though, it does not always squeak.

Turn signal mechanism is still a nuisance.  It's just a poor design and I'll have to live with it.

Suspect I still have the leak somewhere...just trying to keep it garaged during down pours.

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10/21/2002 - Airbag Indicator Blinking 36 and Staying Illuminated

At 67,XXX miles, my Airbag indicator light is coming on again and blinking the code 36.  My Ford dealer is telling me that the 36 means nothing to him and I need to bring it in for an inspection.  He can't tell me whether this is something on a recall by Ford or if it will be out of my pocket...he'll have to do the diagnostic first.  Being unemployed, I'm not ready to hand over $80 to hear them tell me about another Ford problem that I'm going to pay for.

Well, after searching the web, I collected some information that seemed to indicate that the problem might be in the driver side airbag system (and there seems to be a lot of chatter about problems with the side impact air bag system).  I was able to go to the wire harness and connectors under the driver seat of my Explorer and jiggle them around.  It appears to have worked for now.  The airbag indicator light is no longer coming on.

Here's my analysis of the problem.  Airbag sensor are very sensitive to things like corrosion.  Usually, contacts used in the airbag system are made of gold-plated contacts.  In adding the side impact airbags, I bet that gold contacts were not considered in the design of the wire harness of the seat and a normal tin plated contact was used.  Thus, the tin plated contacts gets a bit of corrosion built up on it and it drives the airbag system nuts.  So, the poor design of the connectors will start causing problems with anyone having side impact airbags.

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05/26/2002 - Leaks when it Rains Hard by Rear Seat on Driver Side 

I had suspected a leak problem when I first got this vehicle.  I had noticed on a couple of occasions that there would be some water inside the window on the driver side in the rear seat after I would run it through a high pressure touchless carwash.  I didn't give too much thought to it since it occasionally happened and it seemed to be related to the high pressure car wash.  Well, on one of the 1% of the times when it was not in a garage (another trip to visit relatives in the Washington DC area), the Explorer sat outside in a pouring rain.  The next morning I discovered a wet back carpet in the passenger section and also in the cargo area.  I could not determine where the leak was at, however, I did check that nothing had be inadvertently left open (like a cracked window)...apparently I do have a leak problem.  I was basically scoffed at when I  discussed this with my dealer.  He could not believe that I am just now finding this problem leak since accepting delivery on this as a new vehicle. I just hoping to keep it garaged during down pours for now.

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01/02/2002 - Rough Idle at Start Up - Recall Repair 0012MC

At 46,XXX miles, I took it in for a problem with the engine running rough for the first couple of minutes when you started the engine in cold weather.  I normally don't start the engine in the cold since the vehicle is garaged 99% of the time.  However, we were traveling to the Washington DC area and had the Explorer parked outside (for probably the first time ever) and I started noticing this problem.

My dealer did the recall repair for 0012MC which calls for replacing tensioners and low intake manifold gasket.  This fixed the problem (the rough idle was caused by a leaking gasket...the tensioner was a side item to replaced under the same recall).

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07/16/2001 - Airbag Indicator Illuminated

At 32,XXX miles, I had some Airbag Sensor and Bracket (MT14B004) replaced under warranty because my airbag indicator was coming on.

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05/25/2001 - Firestone Tires Replaced (with Michelins!)

At 30,XXX miles, I finally got my Firestone tires replaced.  I was fortunate to get Michelins, the dealer was loaded with Goodyear tires, however, I have found that Goodyear tires will start "cupping" prematurely.  Talking nice to the parts girl got me the only set of Michelin tires they had for the Explorer.  I've always had better luck with Michelins.  I've had several sets of Goodyears on my Bronco II in which they always developed the uneven wear called "cupping".

The dealer tried to make a few bucks off the situation by charging me for an alignment which I raised hell about...they dropped the charges to promptly get me out of their customer service area.

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03/21/2001 - Explorer Leans to One Side / Popping Noise in coming from the Front Suspension

At 26,XXX miles, I complained because the vehicle was leaning towards the driver side...it was sitting about 1 1/4" lower on the driver side (dealer first said that this in within spec).  I saw where there were a lot of complaints about this on the Explorer on the internet.  Ford dealer finally adjusted the torsion bar under warranty and then tried to get by without doing an alignment after the adjustment, saying adjustment to the torsion bars doesn't effect the alignment.  After a bit of arguing, they did the alignment.

They could not determine what was making the popping noise...they never witnessed the noise.

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01/16/2001 - Turn Signal Doesn't Always Lock in Place when Signaling a Turn
                    (you've got to jockey the steering wheel a little)

At 22,XXX miles, I complained that the turn signal doesn't lock into place about 50% of the time, it requires that you turn the steering wheel to a straight position to lock into place.  The claimed to have swapped out the multi-function turn signal, however the problem remained.  Just a poor design of the turn signal mechanism is my conclusion...too bad they didn't stick to the one I had in my 1988 Bronco II, it was a champ.

                             

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