Please Help..just bought '03 Mountaineer


Asked by Apr 09, 2011 at 08:27 PM about the 2003 Mercury Mountaineer 4 Dr STD AWD SUV

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I just bought a 2003 Mountain with 107K miles on it (4.6L V8, AWD) last weekend. 1/2 way home (about a 3 hour drive) I backed out of a parking spot and it felt like my E-brake was stuck on. Shook and Grinded while backing up.. Does this at very low speed turns as well....I have been running around to shops all week and keep hearing different answers.. Have heard the E brake pads are sticking and have also heard possible rear or transfer case. Next, the tingy noise..sounds to me like a heat shield rattling. On a test drive, one specialist said sounds like the Torque Converter. Someone else said it sounds like its coming from the front pump/converter area of the trans. And last...the Roaring whooshy noise (pardon my impersonations). I only hear this when idling. Vacuum hose maybe?

My husband drove it today and he said when he got on it the RPMs dropped way low very fast which did not seem normal. Driving is probs shifting.

Anyone have any advise? I do not know whether to bring it back for a refund or keep it if repairs are minor. I realize that certain things need replacing, but I'm not spending thousands within a week or so of owning it. Thanks to anyone that can help...

7 Answers


Similar experience with my '03. It shimmies and shakes when I corner. I am 99% certain it is the transfer case that is shot or possibly the differential. It acts like a truck in 4wd on dry pavement. The odd thing is it works fine when you first start it up and drive it for awhile. After 20 minutes or so the wheels hop and chirp in corners. Damn all wheel drive. Shoot have stuck with 4x4 and least I could drive it in 2wd.

13 out of 13 people think this is helpful.

Yes i have an 03 also before i bought it i heard the same sounds mine has 98,000.the master ford mechanic had hell to find the problems.Finally ford has a warning about the torque converter,so he replaced it and no more problem with the swishing sound,also one rear bearing was bad .There sealed bearings all the way around.The bearing was 1100 dollars and the torque converter was 1100 dollars.They had to pay for it befor i gave them the money.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

It could very well be the park brake. The pads come off of the park brake and rattle around on the housing. I can see where they might get crossways and bind up occasionally. It's pretty easy to check, but not easy to replace them.To check them, pull the rear brake rotors off. the park brake is a shoe type brake. It uses the inside of the rotor as the drum to expand against. If the pads came off of the shoes, you can take the pads out when the rotor is off. However, replacing the shoes requires pulling the axle out to get access to the brake mechanism. We're currently driving without park brake pads. (We never used them anyway.) Here's a link with more info: 2005_mountaineer_rear_emergency_brake OK, I just noticed this question is about a year old. I'll go ahead and post in case anyone else has a similar problem. Could the original poster please let us know what you finally found?

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

To be honest, if I knew back in 2003 what I know now about my 2003 Mountaineer, I would have never bought it. They have problems. More problems than the recalls may suggest. In fact, my 1983 Ford pickup is in better shape. My cd player stopped working exactly 105,000 miles. Radio works fine. My transmission shifter will jump out of drive ( automatic) and go into neutral on a bumpy or smooth road. The rear end/axel makes loud noises at different speeds. Have had the rear replaced 3 times in 7 years. The braking system needs help, too. I don't use the emergency brake. Never had to. One day while driving, was hearing all of this chatter while driving. Found out that the e. brakes were tangled up and not put together. Had them replaced. Problem with all-wheel is, if one tire is bad, you have to replace all four.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

I have an 02 mountaineer that would grab and jerk while making tight turns into parking spots and it also felt like something was binding while backing up and turning. Check the bushings that hold the front differential in place. If they are gone it will allow the differential to move and cause the u-joints to bind.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

I have an 03 myself, just got home from picking it up at shop. The guys at the shop told me it was the transfer case. Now $1001.05 later, I'm still stuck with the same grabbing, hopping and humming problems. So they tell me it is the rear end, and the labor on that alone is $410.00. They also proceed to tell me this is a common problem with the AWD Mountaineer. My question is...could they have just replaced the rear end for now, and waited on the transfer case?

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Csheen- did replacing the blown out bushings make the issue go away?

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