The 8 Most Common Explorer Problems

We've pulled together a list of the most widespread problems that Explorer owners have to deal with.

Door Ajar Light

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Ford owners are dealing with a door ajar warning lights that won’t shut off. 2011-2013 Ford Edge owners, in particular, are having this problem in record numbers. The problem happens just outside the car’s standard warranty and has prompted…

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Rodent Damage

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Newer Ford vehicles use an electrical wire coating that is a more eco-friendly, soy-based material. But maybe it's a little too eco-friendly? There's been an uptick in owner complaints about rodents using the coating as a chew toy and causi…

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Explorer Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

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Exhaust concerns have reached a fevered pitch for the 5th-generation Explorer. There are reports of nausea, headaches, and even carbon monoxide poisoning. Ford reluctantly issued a “complimentary service” program following multiple lawsuits…

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Explorer Cracked Rear Panel

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If you own a 2002-2005 Explorer, chances are your rear lift-gate is cracked. It’s a widespread problem in all Ford-family SUVs from that generation, including the Mercury Mountaineer and Lincoln Aviator. But what’s causing the split?…

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Spark Plugs Ejected in Triton Engine

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Ford Triton engines are spitting out spark plugs like sunflower seeds, but the suits in Detroit act like there isn't any problem. They're wrong. We believe this defect affects the following 2-valve engines: Triton 4.6L V8, 5.4L V8, 6.8L V10…

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Explorer's Exploding Rear Windows

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It doesn't matter if the temperature is hot or cold, or even if the car is moving or parked, the rear windows of some Ford Explorer, Escape, Edge and Mercury Mountaineers SUVs are just exploding at random.

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Ford Aluminum Hood Corrosion and Rust

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Cars are prone to rust, unfortunately that's just the way it is. This is especially true for those who live in rust belt states where salt is used to clear ice from roads. We can fight the onslaught with regular washes and waxing ... unless…

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Explorer Transmission Failure

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Nothing lasts forever and transmissions in early 2000's Ford Explorers are no exception. One dealership claimed 1 out of every 10 Explorers from the 3rd generation will experience a premature transmission failure, and with a typical repair …

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What Explorer Owners Complain About

Sometimes it helps just to tally up the complaints and see where the biggest stacks are. Use this information to learn about troublespots or to run for the hills.

Worst Topics

Worst Years

Explorer Generations

Generations are groups of model years where few, if any, changes were made to the vehicle which means their model years tend to break in similar ways. The Explorer has 6 generations available in North American markets.

By the Numbers

  1. 12,945 complaints

    Running tally of owner grievances filed to CarComplaints.com.

  2. 1,403 service bulletins

    Documenting the process of troubleshooting common problems.

  3. 80 recall campaigns

    Time-sensitive, free repairs for widespread safety problems.

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