2000 Ford Explorer AWD purchased with different size tires
I purchased a 2000 Ford Explorer (All Wheel Drive) from a used car dealer 2-1/2 months ago, "as is." Last night, the car started making a very loud "clunking" sound that alternated between the left and right rear of the car.
I took the car to Sear's and it was determined that the left and right rear tires were different sizes. Both front tires and right rear tire were 255/70R/16 while the left rear tire was 265/75R/16. Was told new tires would most likely fix the problem. Spent $300 for two new identical rear tires and problem still exists.
Sears told me that driving car with different tires has caused major damage to rear end and/or transfer case and/or transmission. Any idea of what the problem might and/or how much repairs would cost?
I was told that driving the car with different size tires had damaged the rear end and/or transfer case and possibly the transmission. Is the dealer required to inspect, disclose and advise the buyer of a potentially serious issue?
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Re: 2000 Ford Explorer AWD purchased with different size...
It is true that driving with different size tires can damage the transfer case, depending on how long it was driven like that. But--- even if the tires are the same size it can cause this. if the tires are worn and two tires are new the circumference of the tires must not be more than 1/2 inch difference from each other, take a tape measure and put it around the tire in the center and measure the difference of each tire
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THE MOST COMMON CAUSE OF YOUR SYMPTOM WOULD BE UNMATCHED TIRES.AN AWD VEHICLE MUST USE ALL FOUR TIRES OF THE SAME SIZE/MAKE AND TYPE[IDENTICAL],OTHERWISE DRIVE LINE MEMBERS WILL ROTATE AT DIFFERENT SPEEDS CAUSING A BINDING.
If you have an auto-4wd or AWD transfer case in your SUV, you NEED to have the same size tires all around. Half of your truck is trying to drive at a slightly different speed than the other half. Your tires are going to wear out 10x faster than normal, and it's VERY possible that your transfer case or differentials will be damaged and leave you on the side of the road. I would recommend having it towed on a flatbed to get the correct tires.
Don't know if you have 2 wheel drive, or 4 wheel drive...if 4 wheel drive Ford would only recom/mend the same size for the front...with 2 whell drive you can run a smaller front size tire...but don;t know why you would except for looks...:) The size smaller than the 235/75/R15 is 225/75R15 and next smaller is 215/75R15 and so on... A lower profile size would be 235/70R15 or 225/70R15 and so on...I would not recommend using anything smaller than these...the smaller sizes don't always cost less anymore...
I seen this once before owner had 2 different size tires so the 4 wheel drive was reading a slip in one of the wheels. And the 4 wheel drive was going on and off. They replaced the tires with all 1 size and it went a way.
That is absolutely and totally wrong. They want your money. Go to another tire place and have them replace only the tire that is bad. If your other 3 tires are bald or mis-sized, replace them also but it will not affect the tranny.
If it is the AWD then it uses a vicious coupling to engage 4WD. It has a special fluid in the coupling that heats up and engages it.
First thing to check is the circumference of the tires. If you have over 1/2 difference in tire size this will cause this. You haven't replaced say 2 tires on it have you?
To check this take a piece of chalk and make a mark on the bottom of the tires and your driveway. Then roll the vehicle until chalk mark comes all the way around and back to the bottom.Then mark the driveway again. Then measure the distance between the 2 marks. Measure all 4 tires this way and if you have more than 1/2 difference this could be what is causing your problem.
If you have driven it for a long period of time like this then the coupling may be locked up and it would have to be replaced.
4 wheel drive vehicles are desigined to run with equal size tyres front and back, if not severe stress is placed on the drivetrain, The transmission will most likely need overhaul, biut do not be surprised if you have transfer box faults and diff faults as well. Find a good transmission tech and get a quote.