1997 Explorer bad bearings, tire cords showing and "not much breaks"


Asked by Dec 07, 2013 at 01:03 AM about the 1997 Ford Explorer 4 Dr XLT 4WD SUV

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I recently went to a shop to have them replace some spark plugs and a belt for me (I can do that
myself but don't have the tools since I moved from home.) When they finished they said I had a
bad wheel bearing on the font, that I had tire cords showing and that I didn't have much breaks.
Well I already knew about the breaks, they are DANGEROUS, as my pedal goes right to the floor
much of the time (this is a recent thing that just started about a week ago). I know it's not from the
break pads however as those are brand new. You all helped me with my problem last time I asked
something so I have come to you again. I would like to know, what does it mean? I have never
heard the term "tire cords" so I do not understand that. The bad wheel bearing I have a little more
info about but not much, and I really do not understand what they mean by "not much breaks"
though my ABS light comes on now and then and as I said they are going out. They didn't do a
full inspection but I plan on bringing it in asap to get an estimate and get this fixed, and I would
really just like to know what I am getting into, and if I understand a bit more about what they are
talking about I would feel more comfortable.

Thank you.

6 Answers

you know tires are made from many layers...one layer is steel belting or cords...you never cut yourself on a bald tire been tossed at ya?...these things will rip the flesh...best to take them off and recycle them without touching them...first the "wear bars" become visible....time to replace 3/32 of an inch...then as they get balder they will wear down to the steel cords...this is where you are at....severe under inflation can cause premature wear as will misalignment of the front end...just buy another set of tires and be confident that you will have the machine under control then~

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Tom Demyan

Brake pedal going to the floor is not a good thing, nor the ABS light. I suspect you have a leak in your brake system or the master cylinder is faulty. The ABS light is probably a wheels sensor that needs replacing. Get this fixed ASAP for your safety and others on the road. Sounds like your going to replace some tires too, like the Judge says, get it an alignment as well when doing so or those new tires will wear down and you'll be replacing them in short order again. Not sure you need a wheel bearing, but if the car is making a howling or grinding noise, then it probably needs replacing.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

I want to assure you we HAVE in fact stopped driving the truck right now. I know it is't safe, and we don't want to risk anything, especially with us expecting a lot of snow soon. I am fortunate enough to live in a small city that offers affordable buses running every day but Sunday and plenty of taxi companies to use at other times until I can get my breaks fixed. Judge thank you for explaining that to me, I have noticed metal on old unused tires before just never knew what it was called. If needing a alignment would wear down the tires that explains why the cords are showing as those tires were not quite brand new, but only slightly used, and shouldn't have worn down in the amount of time since I got them. The truck isn't grinding or howling at all. After I had my spark plugs replaced the hard idle sound has stopped (i had 3 of the 6 not connecting replaced all 6) and the truck isn't making any noise anymore. Thank you for your help I appreciate it!

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Do you remember bias-ply tires?....are you that old? like me...before radial tires....cheaper with an innertube~ you would not get hurt from one of these rippin' at your flesh....ahh the good ole days~


I am just 25, and have never heard of them sorry, unless they are the same as those little spare tires that cars use that are typically ca,,ed doughnuts?


Tools are required to change a wheel bearing and service the brakes. If you do not have tools you will have to bring the vehicle to a shop to get the work done. DO NOT DRIVE THE VEHICLE IF THE BRAKE PEDAL GOES ALL THE WAY TO THE FLOOR.

Your Answer

Add photo

Related Questions


Looking for a Used Explorer in your area?

CarGurus has 72,128 nationwide Explorer listings starting at $300.


Search Ford Explorer Questions

Ford Explorer Experts

#1 OJ
Reputation 8,430
#2 Tom Demyan
Tom Demyan
Reputation 3,340
#3 tennisshoes
Reputation 1,930
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Ford Expedition"
592 Great Deals out of 21,558 listings starting at $2,111
Used Jeep Grand Cherokee"
1,203 Great Deals out of 74,215 listings starting at $1,500
Used Ford F-150"
3,256 Great Deals out of 217,212 listings starting at $1,000
Used Chevrolet Tahoe"
1,146 Great Deals out of 36,615 listings starting at $1,995
Used Dodge Durango"
402 Great Deals out of 22,816 listings starting at $1,700
Used Toyota 4Runner"
364 Great Deals out of 18,973 listings starting at $2,400
Used Nissan Pathfinder"
453 Great Deals out of 25,226 listings starting at $1,295

Used Cars For Sale

2017 Ford Explorer For Sale
5 Great Deals out of 35,122 listings starting at $24,075
2016 Ford Explorer For Sale
263 Great Deals out of 10,825 listings starting at $23,220
2015 Ford Explorer For Sale
150 Great Deals out of 3,335 listings starting at $12,995
2014 Ford Explorer For Sale
317 Great Deals out of 5,655 listings starting at $9,999
2013 Ford Explorer For Sale
328 Great Deals out of 5,413 listings starting at $9,300