:::: MENU ::::

Posts tagged with: diy

How To Reset 2011 Ford Explorer MyTouch System


Let me tell you a little story….

Remember how a couple weeks ago I was near-death-status with kidney stones? Well what I didn’t mention in that last post was that the SAME WEEK where I was single-mommin’ it while simultaneously puking my guts out and writhing around in horrific kidney stone-induced pain, my car’s entire Sync system went out. It was like a cruel joke from the universe.

What does that mean? No clock, no radio, no backup camera, no control over HEAT AND A/C!!! The day it went out I had to be on campus to submit grades for a class. I was in POOR shape, guys. Like, I couldn’t get dressed in real clothes (anything that put pressure on my kidneys KILLED ME so I had to wear stretchy yoga pants – basically workout clothes to my job. UGH). So I just snuck in to submit my grades and snuck right back out. Get into my car and – BAM – for no reason the entire Sync system just went out. This has happened once before, when it was still under warranty. I remember the total bill being about $1500 and being SO GRATEFUL it was covered by our extended warranty. Well…..warranty is now long gone, folks.

I swear, had I not needed to get home IMMEDIATELY (because of the pukes and all), I would have driven straight to a car dealership and traded in the car. In Arizona, you cannot LIVE without having control over your heat and A/C. It’s just not happening. Plus the side-view mirror is still taped on (yes. still. life has been a bit hectic over here as my marriage has disintegrated, I moved out, life happenings, etc. Give me a break). So basically it felt like my car (and entire life, really) was falling apart. I wanted the path of least resistance. TIME FOR MOMMA TO GET A NEW CAR.

Well, I’m glad my near-death-status forced me to go straight home instead of to the car dealership. I spent about another week weighing my options. But in looking at information (my car’s trade-in value, the blue book value if I were to buy a similar car, etc. etc.) I realized I could NOT buy a new car. I can’t afford a payment, and if I were to trade in my car for another car (without a payment), I’d be taking a step DOWN in vehicle no matter where I looked. My car may be high mileage, but it’s a newer (7 year old), still very high quality car. It was top-of-the-line for Ford Explorers the year it was made. Originally a $30,000 vehicle! I was not going to be able to find something comparable without a payment.

Solving My Own Problem…

So then I set to the interwebs in trying to solve my problem. I stumbled across THIS youtube video titled: How to Reset/Fix Ford MyTouch System.” I watched it a couple times. Seemed easy enough. Basically, you unplug the fuse and plug it back in again. I could do that.

But no. No, I could not. The vehicle shown in the video is an Edge (mine is an Explorer). The fuse box looks very different. I couldn’t identify the right part. I started just trying to pull out random fuse boxes (there look to be several in my car) and couldn’t get anything to snap out as easily as shown in the video. Not wanting to break anything and not even being sure what I was doing, I didn’t apply too much pressure. I was hoping something would just pop out easily. But nothing happened.

Hail Mary

A week went by. More and more I was coming to terms with the fact that I was going to have to pay (likely $1500+) to have my electrical system all reset. A one time $1500-2000 charge is still cheaper than a recurring $500/month car payment for the next 5 years. This was happening. I’m keeping my car and paying someone to fix it.

In a Hail Mary attempt, I went back to Google. I tried a more thorough search for how to reset my MyTouch system at home. Nothing helpful came back (a lot of resetting to factory settings, but mine wouldn’t even turn on so I needed something more). I went back to that same YouTube video. This time, I read the comments under the video. And right there, written in black and white, someone spelled out my problem for me:

Clifford Shack (post from one week ago, so the comment wasn’t even present the first time I saw then video):

Touchscreen blacked out on my 2018 Explorer. Fix: Press seek up button and Volume button simultaneously and it will come back with nothing lost (Hold for 2-3 seconds for reset).

Well, thank you to Mr. Shack. I tried it out and Glory Hallelujah it worked!!! My radio is back in action! Mine was reset to factory settings (so it wasn’t true for me that “nothing was lost” because all my presets are gone, the blue tooth settings were wiped out, etc.) BUT I DON’T CARE BECAUSE AT LEAST IT’S BACK!!! FOR FREE!!!!

Given that hubs always did our car maintenance, this is a pretty proud moment for me as a newly Single Woman. Excuse me while I go pat myself on the back and count all the money I saved by NOT having to go to the dealership to have this problem fixed.

And because I’d budgeted $500 for car repairs this month (thinking that wouldn’t be enough to cover the electrical, but I wanted to put some aside)….I ended up going onto Ebay and found the side-view mirror I need for just a couple hundred dollars! I have a friend from work who offered to install it for me if I got the part so I pulled the trigger and the side-view mirror should be at my home by next Friday (whyyyyyyyy is Ebay soooooo slow?? I’m an Amazon Prime girl over here. Waiting over a week for an order feels like eternity!) At any rate, the MyTouch is fixed and with any luck the side-view mirror will be fixed within another couple of weeks. I need to go wash and clean it really well and hopefully the beauty will be back to new(-ish…. with 150,000 miles. But you know what I mean) 😉

Boom! Any other stories of saving serious money by DIY and/or female empowerment/DIY that you’d like to share? 

DIY Ford Explorer Armrest Replacement


Our 2011 Ford Explorer is only 7 years old, but it has been driven HARD. Every year since its purchase (we bought in 2012), we’ve driven cross-country at least twice, once in summer and once in winter. Our typical drive has been between 800-900 miles. We used to drive up to Utah when my Dad lived there (approximately 800 miles), and our trips to Austin rack up approximately 900 miles. That’s each way. Meaning, 1800 miles round-trip, at least twice per year. That’s a lot of road miles and often during harsh conditions of 100+ degree summer days and freezing winter weather.

We’ll drive this baby ’till the wheels fall off. We paid it off back in January 2016 and have never looked back! But the poor thing has definitely shown its wear, being the primary family car and seeing our daughters grow from tiny little babies in rear-facing infant car-seats all the way to their current front-facing booster seats! One of the most noticeable signs of wear has been the cracking of the “leather” (pleather??) interior material on the armrests. The center console/armrest has taken a particular beating. There’s no real reason for it – the Explorer is mostly garage-kept and we try to take good care of it. But all the use has caused the armrest cover to crack. It’s not only unsightly, it’s downright painful! It’s actually caused small cuts and scrapes on my right arm when I’m driving! Ugh!

I bought a replacement leather cover oh……a year ago??? But I hadn’t followed through with installation because life happened and things got busy and I just forgot about it. I was recently cleaning out our hallway closet and came across the leather piece I had purchased. To clarify, this was literally just a piece of leather, NOT a full replacement piece. I think I paid $20 for it. To install, I would have to remove the center console lid, remove the leather, glue and staple-gun on the new leather, and re-install into the car.

Here’s the “Before”:

Installation Instructions:

As it turned out, there were NO videos on youtube that I could find with the proper instructions for my year/model of Explorer (again, I have a 2011 Ford Explorer). I literally had to search through internet chat rooms to find a thread where someone discussed the steps and process. I’ll detail them here, but to give proper credit, I found this info on explorerforum.com

  1. Open up the center console/armrest.
  2. Remove the piece the latch-hook goes into. It’s held together by two clips that easily disconnect.
  3. Once removed, disconnect the electrical component that goes into the cigarette lighter.
  4. Under this is a piece that has three small bolts that need to be removed. 
  5. Once removed, unclip the sides of the console.
  6. Next, lift up on the front console piece (the one containing the cup holders and shifter). It’s held in place by four spring clips, two on each side. Note: it only raises a couple inches, NOT all the way out. You must unclip the sides of the console (step 5) before you can lift it up.
  7. The console bucket has four clips. Unclip and lift up on the bucket until it comes free. Again, it will NOT come all the way out, it will only lift a few inches.
  8. With the console bucket lifted, you should now be able to access the four torx screws on the lid hinge. Remove the screws and the console lid/center armrest should now come free!

Now is the whole process of removing the old/cracked leather and putting on the new leather. Our new leather piece came with a detailed instruction card, but I also easily found lots of youtube videos on this part of the process. See here for an example. Just for comparison, this was a total cinch in comparison to figuring out how to REMOVE the dang console lid in the first place! Check out the video I linked above, but the basic gist is that you remove the old leather (just pulling it off around the seams), stretch and glue the new leather into place and secure by using a heavy-duty stapler around the edges. Pretty easy.

Next, you follow the steps above in reverse to put the center console lid/armrest back into place.

DONE! (Note: the leather looks like a totally different color, but it’s an exact match, only the thread is different. I just took the pictures at different times of day so the lighting was different).

I had hubs help me (it’s really kind of a two-person job – one person needs to hold the pieces up while the other person uses the screwdriver to unscrew the torx screws). But it’s not too complicated or difficult once you’ve got directions. We tried for awhile to figure it out on our own and it was NOT happening. But following the instructions, everything went seamlessly!

And now I have my brand new leather cover! I accidentally ordered a cover with grey/white stitching (the original was a dark colored stitching – you can see it in the original cracked photo above). But I’m totally NOT worried about it. I’m just so glad to finally have the new cover on and be able to make our road trips (and in-town driving, for that matter) without getting my arm all cut up anymore! Woohoo!!! Can’t beat a $20 fix to a big pain-in-the-butt problem!

Three cheers for DIY!

Have you recently completed a DIY project?