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Whining noise from 40 ~ 70 MPH

Discussion in 'Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by outlier, June 14, 2011.

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  1. outlier

    outlier Member

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    Hello all,

    Took our 2002 Explorer XLT (80K miles) up to Firestone as there was an uncomfortable sort of grinding and roughness and what the wife describes as "running heavy." I had noticed this along with a whining sound that rises in pitch as one accelerates. As the thread title describes, it is most noticeable from approximately 40 to 70 MPH, but only when I am pressing the gas pedal. If I am traveling at these speeds and let off of the gas, the whining stops.

    I had not initially noticed this development in part as 1. I usually drive our Nissan Pathfinder and 2. When I drive the Explorer, I am usually taking it on short trips and am blasting Deep Purple, Motorhead, Yngwie Malmsteen, that sort of thing... ;) So I did not hear it at first... :D

    After I did notice, it became painfully obvious to me at least. I started driving the Explorer a lot more. The Pathfinder sat in the garage for a good while, upon which I did take it out at one point. The problem then became even more conspicuous as the Pathfinder was nearly dead silent and like riding on air in comparison.

    Shortly after I'd dropped the Explorer off, Firestone called me back, said that it was a common problem, that the wheel bearings had gone bad and that this was typical in Explorers with between 60K to 110K miles. I had noticed uneven tread wear on the front tires, and they pointed that out to me as evidence.

    I told them to go ahead and do the work. Got it back and the roughness and uncomfortable vibration is definitely gone.

    BUT, driving it, the whining is still there. It's getting loud enough that when listening to talk radio at a normal volume, the whining is starting to drown out the radio.

    So there's obviously another problem there, but with this economy, we just don't have the money to blindly toss around in hopes of solving the problem.

    I know that the vehicle is overdue for a transmission fluid service, but I'd be very disappointed if I spent more money I don't have right now on something that doesn't solve the whining noise problem. I'd definitely like to know if I can zero in on this whining noise first and then think about tackling some of the other scheduled servicing, etc.

    Any thoughts? Recommendations?


    Thanks in advance. :cool:
     
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  3. tower

    tower Active Member

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    The whining is the rear end. The only fix is to replace it or have it rebuilt, you can replace the fluid (always a good idea) and that may quiet it down some but will not fix it.
     
  4. outlier

    outlier Member

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    Would it be possible for you to elaborate on this info as to the specifics of what is occurring? Less than four years ago, we had the local stick-up dealership completely rebuild the differential/rear end as part of a warranty repair.

    As a side note, they messed up our brakes which had a very bad pulsing after returning the vehicle. The service mangler, sorry, manager quoted me that it would cost a little over $100.00 to fix the brakes they finally admitted after much discussion were not in that condition when they vehicle was received. Took it up there, $100.00 turned into a quote of $1100.00 (yes, correct number of zeroes) because their "best guy" all of a sudden found all kinds of new work their "best guy" couldn't find the last time he had it. I basically told 'em to ... y'know ... and took the truck they broke somewhere else.

    In any case, before I do anything, I need to be armed with the exact and precise info here. Thank you very much. :) :cool:
     
  5. Exproblems

    Exproblems Well-Known Member

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    [>>>>>>>>>>>
     
  6. tower

    tower Active Member

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    You got 4 years out of a rebuilt one? Sadly that's not that bad. As to what is occurring, the gears wear/slightly shift and make noise. If you do a search you will find countless post that mirror yours, noise under power in the 40-70 mph range.

    I had mine replaced at around 112k after it gave up (blew a hole in the case). I then changed my gear oil every 10k on the new one and guess what the gears are humming away :(.
     
  7. outlier

    outlier Member

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    I have a lot of Priest and Maiden CDs, though of the latter, I prefer the Paul DiAnno-era Killers and he does have a lower voice... So I may have to match the whining sound with the artists recommended.

    About the repair, it was a hair over $700.00. I hope this is an alright amount. I have trusted this garage for some time now and they've always been pretty much straight with us in the past.

    Thing is, we have an aftermarket Platinum warranty coverage still. Through some confusion between my wife and me, I didn't submit the claim through the warranty company, but may still be able to. The wife spoke to the company on the telephone today and told us how to proceed with this so that we might be able to have them pay for some of it as we had some other service done at the same time that wouldn't be covered. I will add that the company told the wife that they would cover rear end rebuild work.

    Since posting, did some searching on the internet and saw that this is a common problem and complaint. Amazing that we can only reasonably expect four years out of a rebuild, particularly in that we both work from home and most driving is done locally. Very often, it's not driven at all for days at a time as we do not have commutes, obviously. That said, we've had to make several 2000 mile round trip business trips in the past year and a half. There were consecutive months in which two weekends out of every month were spent driving. Not very fun.

    I have no doubt that some shops tamper with and deliberately damage vehicles in for service. I have a few stories of my own... I'm amazed that these thieves would rather go for the short-term score of padding a bill and breaking components, rather than go in for building a long-term positive relationship.

    And without getting too sidetracked, it's something not limited to auto repair, but a local gun shop comes to mind and is much the same: They rip off newbies and those who haven't educated themselves with their insane prices. Upon this, most wise up and then move on to build a relationship with a different gun shop. The interesting aspect to all of this is that there seems to be quite a good income available to those who will rip off the unsuspecting, uninformed and new-to-the-area with the full knowledge that these customers will eventually become disgruntled and move on.

    Speaking of the dealer again, they have numerous BBB complaints listed online and elsewhere: Yahoo, etc. And I even knew someone from the dealership owner's family and that didn't seem to help much. This person mostly just treated me to a bunch of BS about how their mechanics were oh so trained and why they have to be paid practically just for glancing in your vehicle's direction. Even though this person apparently runs the Service Department, when I used terms like "engine fan" and "firewall," this individual professed to have no knowledge of what these items even were. Judging by other aspects of our conversations, I am pretty sure that claim of ignorance was one of the few honest claims made to me.

    All that said, Firestone told us today that that type of rebuild is not something they do. There is another dealer I took the truck to for a recall repair and they seemed to be OK. So if need be, I'll go with them and keep my fingers crossed.
     
  8. cross6

    cross6 Active Member

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    My rear end on my 2004 has been rebuilt twice in 140,000 miles and is starting to whine again...

    Thinking about going from 3.55 to 3.27 to help with highway fuel economy on the next rebuild :eek:
     
  9. Exproblems

    Exproblems Well-Known Member

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