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Old 07-11-2009, 14:00   #1 (permalink)
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Is it time to dump my 2002 Explorer XLT?

138,000 original owner miles on XLT V8 - leather interior; premium sound etc. . At 104,000 I had to put in a Ford rebuilt transmissions with a 75K warranty. Present problems: Both rear springs are broken, throwing suspension off and creating abnormal tire wear in front. Three struts are shot and need replacing. One rear wheel bearing is starting to get noisy (all 4 have been replaced before). Now using about a quart of oil every 4,000 miles. ( have always used synthetic or synthetic blend). This car gets about 20k miles per year; still has good interior and comfy ride. But mechanic estimates $2,2000 worth or repairs are needed. I'm concerned that if I throw that much $$ into it, I'm still going to start running into other expensive repair issues.
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Old 07-11-2009, 14:35   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Is it time to dump my 2002 Explorer XLT?

It's the old phrase, 'damned if you do, damned if you don't'. You can spend the $2200 or so to get the vehicle back up to prime operating condition and hope that no more repairs will be required for a while, or get a newer vehicle which you'll probably be making payments on all the same. I'd get the SUV fixed. Shop around, as shops can vary greatly for the work. If the wheel bearing in question isn't making noise, leave it alone yet. For shocks, I recommend Bilsteins as good replacement options. If cost is an issue, Monroe is more in tuned with factory tuning specs.

Repairs are inevitable in vehicle that's 7, going on 8 years old. If you get lucky, $2200 might be all that you'll have to spend over the next couple of years. On the other hand, the A/C could require work if you like to have that convenience, or another bearing could go, or you'll have to replace some sensors (oxygen, idle controller, etc). Other things are fuel pump, oil pump, water pump, most will easily last til 150-200K before they cause a problem, but again, nothing is guaranteed. Still, I'd spend the moeny on the repairs unless you really want a newer vehicle.
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Old 07-11-2009, 14:35   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Is it time to dump my 2002 Explorer XLT?

The 5.0L is a great engine. The Ford repair manual says it is normal for an engine to use up to one quart every 3,000 miles. My issue with that is everyone has different driving styles which can cause this to vary greatly.

It does sound typical though that the rest of the vehilce is falling apart. Weigh the pros and cons of a new-used ride compared to fixing this one. i.e. car payments, personal property, gas mileage, etc.
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Old 07-12-2009, 10:19   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Is it time to dump my 2002 Explorer XLT?

It is all opinion- but I guess you asked! My 5 cents on the big picture......

One quart in 4k is average to good with the miles you have on it.

Pros: You know the trans is good and you have a warranty on it for another year and half based on your current miles in a year. The 5.0 engine is a great engine and will usually outlast the car.

It is a great time to buy a new or used car.

Cons: The car needs some work and it sounds like it putting a pinch on your wallet.
It is a bad time to trade a car.


I would recommend a thorough inspection of your car to get the BIG picture. Get a total cost to put your vehicle in top condition. Ask them to toss out all the recommendations such as 'top end engine cleaner' and oil additives that they toss into the mix. Then ask yourself "Could I buy something else for this amount that will assure me this cost over the next 3 years?"

You probably have an easy 3 more years with the car if it is maintained properly and you already know the trans is good and under a warranty the next 1.5 years of driving.
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