How to Troubleshoot a Ford Explorer XLT

by Zach Lazzari

The Ford Explorer XLT is a four-door, four-wheel drive sport vehicle. The Explorer comes in several different styles, including the XLT and the Eddie Bauer limited edition which both offer extra features like power windows, power mirrors and leather seats. The XLT also has a four-liter, V-6 engine. Troubleshooting the vehicle requires basic mechanical knowledge and the ability to make detailed observations.

Turn the key and attempt to start the vehicle. Test the interior lights and electronics if the engine is dead. If the vehicle does not have power, attach jumper cables to the battery and to a running vehicle. Allow the battery to charge for several minutes and start the vehicle. If the battery does not hold the charge, replace it with a new one.

Use a voltage meter to test the alternator if the battery drains on a regular basis. If the alternator continues drain-charge cycles on the battery, it will eventually ruin the battery. Replace a faulty alternator as soon as possible.

Open the hood and attempt to start the vehicle. If the engine does not crank and it makes a clicking sound, the starter must be replaced. Hit the starter with a hammer to unlock the teeth and replace the starter as soon as possible.

Drive the vehicle on a smooth surface and feel for power surges. If the engine does not always respond to the pressure on the gas pedal, the fuel pump is weak and may require replacement. If the vehicle is difficult to steer, the power steering pump may also require replacement.

Drive at variable speeds to test the transmission. If the transmission hesitates or jolts while shifting, it requires service. The transmission may be low on fluids or it may require minor repairs. Stop driving the Explorer until the problem is resolved.


  • check Maintain the fluid levels and monitor the vehicle for changes. Make repairs as soon as the problem becomes apparent.


  • close Never let the fluids run empty on the vehicle. Failure to maintain fluid levels will cause extensive damage to the engine and transmission.

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About the Author

Zach Lazzari is a Montana based freelance outdoor writer and photographer. You can view his work at

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