Advice on '02 Ford Explorer Sport - Has a few issues
I own a 2002 Ford Explorer Sport 4x4 (80,000KM), which I just had in for it's usual 5000KM servicing. I can change the oil, but I'm definitely no pro-mechanic or anything so I generally always bring the thing into a shop. Anyways, in their multi-point inspection they noted a couple issues which I thought I might ask about here.
First of all... And I did take notice of this myself just a few months ago. The front crank and pinion seals are leaking. Apparently this is notorious on these Explorers. So, my question to all of you is how critical is it that I have this repaired quickly? Given that it's the front seals, is it less critical than the rear (vehicle is RWD)? How major is this problem? If I drive much more without having it repaired, do I run the risk of damaging something? They quoted Ford parts E6TZ-6700-A (Crank seal @ $219) and 5L2Z-4L616-AB (Pinion seal @ $131.94) plus $13 + $21 for labour. Although they might have reversed the labour and parts costs. Does this cost sound a little too inflated? If so, how much should it be?
Second... I bought the vehicle 1 year ago at which point, I'm not sure when the last transmission flush was. I've yet to have it flushed, and currently, it's looking a little dirty... Not exactly pink anymore. Could this be something serious with the transmission, or just normal wear given that it hasn't been flushed in 1 year+?
And one other thing... A couple of months ago, once when I went to cold start the truck, it would not stay running. Only after about 5 times turning it over did it finally start and stay running. This has yet to happen since. The shop I had it into advised there was a fair bit of gunk in the gas tank and advised this might have been the cause, even though I always buy good gas. How would I correct this? Just dump in some fuel injector cleaner or something? Any ideas?
Thanks in advance for all input.