Ford Explorer: Body System - General Information / Diagnosis and Testing - Body System

Ford Explorer 2020-2021 Service Manual / Body and Paint / Body and Paint / Body System - General Information / Diagnosis and Testing - Body System

Symptom Chart(s)

Diagnostics in this manual assume a certain skill level and knowledge of Ford-specific diagnostic practices.
REFER to: Diagnostic Methods (100-00 General Information, Description and Operation).

Dust and Water Leaks

Most dust and water leaks occur due to missing or incorrectly installed body sealer or components. The source of the leak is detected by:

  • pressurizing the vehicle and testing with soapy water.
    • Locate and tape off the body vents.
    • Turn the blower motor to HI.
    • Turn the air recirculation OFF.
    • Close the windows and doors.
    • Open the hood and spray soapy water along body seams and grommets. Make sure to test the areas around the A-pillar at the fender and the hood hinge area.
    • Check for bubbles.
  • inspecting for a dust pattern or water path near and above the area in question.
  • removing any trim or carpet in the general area of the leak.
  • road testing or water-hose testing the vehicle.
  • placing a bright light under the vehicle, removing any necessary trim or carpet and inspecting the interior of the body at joints and weld lines.

Wind noise

Most wind noise leaks occur at the corners of the windows or in the doors. Wind noise is detected by driving the vehicle at highway speeds or at speeds as specified by the customer. The vehicle should be driven in 4 different directions, with all the windows closed, the radio off and the A/C blower motor off.

Squeak and Rattle

Squeak and rattle noises are generally caused by loose parts, contact or relative movement between 2 surfaces or loose wires and connectors. The source of the noise can be detected by stopping movement of the suspect part by hand or by using dampening or low friction materials.

Symptom Chart: Body System - General Information

NOTE: All conditions, possible sources or actions do not apply to every vehicle due to variability in features, options and parts content.

Condition Possible Sources Actions
Draft/wind noise and water leak around door perimeter Loose fit seal PINCH the seal carrier to improve retention on the seal flange.
Seal installed incorrectly REINSTALL or REPLACE the seal as necessary.
Door misaligned REALIGN the door. CHECK the door gaps and fit in the door opening and ADJUST as necessary.
REFER to: Front Door Alignment (501-03 Body Closures, General Procedures).
REFER to: Rear Door Alignment (501-03 Body Closures, General Procedures).
Scuff plate installed incorrectly REINSTALL the scuff plate.
Seal or seal pushpins damaged INSTALL a new seal/pushpins.
Sheet metal joints in the door or door opening SEAL leaks with seam sealer.
Integrated window regulator and carrier foam seal damaged or out of place. REINSTALL or REPLACE the seal.
Integrated window regulator and carrier attaching fasteners not fully seated, missing or damaged. REINSTALL or REPLACE the fasteners.
Window regulator components loose, missing or improperly installed. REINSTALL or REPLACE the components.
Draft/wind noise and water leak around glass run Door glass misaligned ADJUST the door glass.
Glass run installed incorrectly or not fully seated REINSTALL the glass run.
REFER to: Front Door Glass Run and Bracket (501-11 Glass, Frames and Mechanisms, Removal and Installation).
REFER to: Front Door Glass Top Run (501-11 Glass, Frames and Mechanisms, Removal and Installation).
REFER to: Rear Door Glass Run and Bracket (501-11 Glass, Frames and Mechanisms, Removal and Installation).
REFER to: Rear Door Glass Top Run (501-11 Glass, Frames and Mechanisms, Removal and Installation).
Leak path behind the glass run INSTALL foam rope behind the glass run.
Glass run channel spread wide PINCH the glass run channel to reduce size of opening.
Glass run damaged INSTALL a new glass run.
REFER to: Front Door Glass Run and Bracket (501-11 Glass, Frames and Mechanisms, Removal and Installation).
REFER to: Front Door Glass Top Run (501-11 Glass, Frames and Mechanisms, Removal and Installation).
REFER to: Rear Door Glass Run and Bracket (501-11 Glass, Frames and Mechanisms, Removal and Installation).
REFER to: Rear Door Glass Top Run (501-11 Glass, Frames and Mechanisms, Removal and Installation).
Glass run overstuffed in corners creating pucker REINSTALL the glass run. INSTALL new part as necessary.
REFER to: Front Door Glass Run and Bracket (501-11 Glass, Frames and Mechanisms, Removal and Installation).
REFER to: Front Door Glass Top Run (501-11 Glass, Frames and Mechanisms, Removal and Installation).
REFER to: Rear Door Glass Run and Bracket (501-11 Glass, Frames and Mechanisms, Removal and Installation).
REFER to: Rear Door Glass Top Run (501-11 Glass, Frames and Mechanisms, Removal and Installation).
Inner glass run reveal lip not contacting the sheet metal REINSTALL the glass run. INSTALL new part as necessary.
REFER to: Front Door Glass Run and Bracket (501-11 Glass, Frames and Mechanisms, Removal and Installation).
REFER to: Front Door Glass Top Run (501-11 Glass, Frames and Mechanisms, Removal and Installation).
REFER to: Rear Door Glass Run and Bracket (501-11 Glass, Frames and Mechanisms, Removal and Installation).
REFER to: Rear Door Glass Top Run (501-11 Glass, Frames and Mechanisms, Removal and Installation).
Inner belt overstuffed creating a gap between the glass and glass run REINSTALL the inner belt and INSTALL foam rope behind the inner lip of the glass run at the belt. INSTALL new glass run as necessary.
Draft/wind noise and water leak at inner belt line Belt line seal installed incorrectly on flange ADJUST the seal (do not bend the flange).
No contact with the side glass ADJUST the door glass.
No contact with the glass runs at both ends of the belt line seal ADJUST the belt line seal or ADD foam at the seal ends.
Belt line seal damaged INSTALL a new seal.
Draft/wind noise and water leak at outer belt line Belt line seal installed incorrectly on flange (no glass contact) ADJUST the seal.
Belt line seal does not contact the glass ADJUST the door glass.
No contact with the glass runs at both ends of the belt line seal ADJUST the belt line seal or ADD foam at the seal ends.
Belt line seal damaged INSTALL a new seal.
Draft/wind noise at inner door handle/speaker opening Hole in the weathershield SEAL hole with suitable tape.
Weathershield misaligned REALIGN the weathershield. INSTALL a new weathershield if the pressure sensitive adhesive fails.
Exterior door handle seal misaligned/damaged REALIGN or INSTALL a new seal as necessary.
Speaker or speaker seal missing or damaged REPAIR the speaker seal or INSTALL a new door speaker.
Draft/wind noise and water leaks at floor pan and grommets Missing or damaged plugs/grommets CHECK plugs/grommets for correct installation or damage. INSTALL new plugs/grommets if necessary.
Road noise Missing mastic insulators CHECK for missing mastic insulators.
Missing body insulators CHECK for missing body insulators.
Rattles in body/doors and instrument panel Loose wires/cables CHECK that all wires/cables are correctly routed and inserted in correct retainers.
Loose objects/components in door wells, pillars quarter trim panels CHECK the doors by carefully striking underside of the doors with a rubber mallet while listening for rattles in the doors and the pillars. REMOVE or TIGHTEN loose objects/components.
Buzz from the instrument panel components IDENTIFY which components of the instrument panel are buzzing. SECURE/FASTEN components as necessary, ADD foam or felt as needed if rattle persists.
Door drain holes collecting water Holes clogged with mud or road tar CLEAN the drain holes of foreign material with a punch or screwdriver. CHECK the drain holes regularly.
Wind noise from exterior rear view mirror Exterior mirror housing misaligned REALIGN with edges shingled to airflow, with no gaps.
Mirror sail gasket folded/misaligned REINSTALL with gasket unfolded and aligned correctly.
Mirror housing trim cap installed incorrectly REINSTALL with edges shingled to airflow.
Inner sail trim installed incorrectly REINSTALL the sail trim. ADJUST the door trim.
Inner sail gasket/barrier installed incorrectly REINSTALL the trim cover with gasket/barrier aligned correctly.
Air path through wiring bundle/fastener access holes BLOCK the air path(s) with foam/tape.
Exposed fastener access hole on mirror housing/sail INSTALL a new cap if missing.
Mirror housing trim cap under-flush to the housing causing whistle INSTALL a new exterior mirror.
REFER to: Exterior Mirror (501-09 Rear View Mirrors, Removal and Installation).
Rattle/vibration from exterior rear view mirror Mirror mounting nuts loose TIGHTEN the mirror mounting nuts
REFER to: Exterior Mirror (501-09 Rear View Mirrors, Removal and Installation).
Aftermarket air deflector/stone shields If possible, REMOVE the aftermarket air deflector/stone shield, then ROAD TEST vehicle. If the concern is no longer present, ADVISE the customer the aftermarket component was causing concern.
Draft/wind noise and water leak around perimeter of all fixed glass Air traveling up windshield molding along the A-pillar INSTALL foam rope full length of the A-pillar.
Gaps in the sealant bead of windshield/rear glass Install new windshield/rear glass.
REFER to: Fixed Glass (501-11 Glass, Frames and Mechanisms, General Procedures).
Windshield/rear glass misaligned or not installed correctly Install new windshield/rear glass.
REFER to: Fixed Glass (501-11 Glass, Frames and Mechanisms, General Procedures).
Rear hood seal at base of windshield misaligned/damaged REALIGN or INSTALL a new seal as necessary.
High mounted stoplamp CHECK the high mounted stoplamp seal. REPAIR or INSTALL as necessary.
A-pillar applique along windshield lifting INSPECT the attachment clips for damage and REINSTALL part. INSTALL new part as necessary.
Draft/wind noise and water leak around liftgate/luggage compartment perimeter Loose fit seal PINCH seal carrier to improve retention on seal flange or INSERT foam in carrier.
Seal misaligned or installed incorrectly REINSTALL seal.
Liftgate/luggage compartment misaligned REALIGN the liftgate. CHECK the liftgate fit in body opening and ADJUST as necessary.
REFER to: Liftgate Alignment (501-03 Body Closures, General Procedures).
Scuff plate misaligned REINSTALL the scuff plate.
Seal or seal pushpins damaged INSTALL a new seal or pushpins.
Draft/water leak or noise from roof opening panel Roof opening panel/components Refer to the Symptom Chart: NVH for diagnosis.
REFER to: Roof Opening Panel (501-17 Roof Opening Panel, Diagnosis and Testing).
Wind noise created by airflow over or behind body panels Fender splash shield misaligned REALIGN the fender splash shield.
Body panel misaligned (exposed edge) REALIGN the appropriate body panel.
Hood misaligned (front margin) CHECK the hood gaps and fit. ADJUST the hood as necessary.
REFER to: Hood Alignment (501-03 Body Closures, General Procedures).
Front grille edge noise APPLY foam in hollow areas behind louvers.
Wind noise created by grille opening panel Grille fit to the leading edge on hood If possible, ADJUST the grille opening panel forward to eliminate wind noise.
Sharp edges due to material imperfections REMOVE the sharp edges (no visible surface damage).
Wind noise from air extractor (body vent) Air extractor housing seated incorrectly REINSTALL the air extractor housing.
Air extractor housing or flaps damaged INSTALL a new air extractor.
Wind noise from bug shield/exterior windshield sun visor Turbulence created by location and shape DETERMINE if the component is an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) part or aftermarket. If aftermarket, ADVISE the customer accordingly. If Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), VERIFY correctly installed. If the noise is abnormal REPAIR or INSTALL new as required.
Wind noise from cowl panel (leaf screen) Leaf screen rubber lip not touching the windshield REINSTALL the part. If the part still does not fit, CHECK for damaged attachment clips. INSTALL new part as necessary.

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