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2002 Mercury Mountaineer Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 2002 Mercury Mountaineer based on complaints from actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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12
Known Problems

A coolant leak may develop from the radiator. Ford has released and updated radiator and powertrain control module (PCM) software update to address this issue. The software update includes revised cooling fan operating parameters. Failure to complete both service procedures may result in repeated radiator failures.

The intake manifold O-ring gaskets commonly leak, causing stalling and poor idle quality; the Check Engine Light will illuminate.

Various problems with the 5-speed automatic transmission were common. These problems can be more common on the 2002 models with build dates before March, 2002. There are many service bulletins describing the diagnoses and repairs, which include fluid leak repairs, transmission software updates, or internal failures requiring a costly repair.

The 4.6L V8 engine used in the Mercury Mountaineer from 2002-2010 is known for displaying the normal symptoms of a coolant leak, including overheating, especially when the vehicle is idling, the strong smell of coolant from the engine, and illumination of the low engine coolant warning light

This leak is difficult to locate as it is buried underneath the intake manifold, and only begins to leak coolant onto the ground in advanced stages of disrepair. This leak springs from the heater tube, which allows coolant to flow between the water pump and HVAC heater core

When the connection for this tube begins to leak, the coolant burns on the hot engine, and produces a sweet smell that is unmistakably engine coolant. 

The remedy can be complicated, and will necessitate removal of the intake manifold, heater tube, and possibly the water pump. After removal of these items, the connector may be replaced, or a set of o-rings, depending on the year of the vehicle. 

The Mercury Mountaineer 4.6L V8 model is known for engine overheating, even with normal use, and a coolant leak from the front of the manifold. This will often trigger the check engine light and low engine coolant warning light.

The engine coolant leak is from a factory defect, which causes cracking on the front coolant passage of the intake manifold. In a very short time, this leak will lead to engine overheating issues, especially while the vehicle is idling.   

Between 1999 and 2001, Ford released an updated version of this engine, known as the 'PI' version with a metal coolant passage on the front of the intake manifold, to prevent future issues.

There is no factory authorized repair for the intake manifold, and replacement is required to correct the engine coolant leak and overheating issues.

 

A rattling noise from the engine may indicate that the timing chain cassette is worn. Our technicians tell us that installing an updated cassette and timing chain tensioner should correct this concern.

A cosmetic crack may develop on the plastic liftgate trim panel. Our technicians tell us the Ford has released a service procedure to replace the applique without damage the the liftgate glass.

A failed heater blend door or actuator can cause the temperature control for the HVAC system to stop working. A clicking sound from the dash area would commonly indicate an actuator fault. If the heater gets stuck on the hottest setting, the heater blend door may be broken requiring replacement of the heater box to repair the issue.

The rear wiper may stop working. This could be due to a rear wiper motor that has failed requiring replacement.

The rear window wiper may not fully contact the rear window. To fix, replacement of both the wiper blade and wiper arm is necessary.