Exploring the Common Challenges of Ford Explorer Ownership

22 - 25 April 2024 in United Kingdom

The Ford Explorer holds a prominent position in the automotive world, renowned for its sturdy build and impressive performance. However, like all vehicles, it is not immune to issues. In this blog post, we will delve into the common challenges faced by Ford Explorer owners, providing insights into these issues and offering tips on how to handle them effectively.

Exploring the Common Challenges of Ford Explorer Ownership

Introduction to the Ford Explorer

 Introduction to the Ford Explorer

As part of the esteemed Ford family, the Ford Explorer has earned its reputation as a popular SUV choice among drivers. Despite its appeal, owners may encounter various challenges during their ownership journey.

Identifying the Challenges

Identifying the Challenges

From cosmetic concerns to mechanical issues, Ford Explorer owners may face a range of problems. Let’s explore some of the most common issues and discuss potential solutions:

Corrosion: Despite its robust design, the Ford Explorer is susceptible to rusting, particularly around the front hood and rear liftgate. While primarily cosmetic, this can affect the vehicle’s appearance over time.

Pest Intrusion: The use of soy-based materials in newer Ford vehicles has inadvertently attracted rodents, leading to damage to electrical wiring.

Persistent Warning Lights: Owners may experience issues with warning lights, such as the door ajar light, which may remain illuminated despite the door being closed.

Carbon Monoxide Concerns: Some Ford Explorer models have been reported to have issues with carbon monoxide entering the cabin, posing health risks to occupants.

Cracked Panels: Cracking of rear lift-gate panels, particularly in certain model years, can be a common problem.

Spark Plug Ejection: Ford Triton engines in Ford Explorers have been known to eject spark plugs, which can lead to engine damage.

Rear Window Shattering: Instances of rear window shattering without apparent cause have been reported by some Ford Explorer owners.

Transmission Failures: Early 2000’s Ford Explorers have experienced transmission failures, which can be costly to repair.

Suspension Issues: Some Ford Explorer models have been known to experience suspension problems, including premature wear and tear on suspension components, leading to a bumpy or uncomfortable ride.

Electrical Malfunctions: Electrical issues, such as malfunctioning power windows, door locks, or dashboard displays, can occur in Ford Explorers, potentially causing inconvenience and safety concerns.

Engine Misfires: Certain Ford Explorer models may experience engine misfires, resulting in rough idling, reduced fuel efficiency, and potential damage to engine components if not addressed promptly.

Cooling System Problems: Cooling system issues, such as leaks or overheating, can occur in Ford Explorers, leading to engine damage if not resolved in a timely manner.

Brake System Failures: Brake system problems, including brake fluid leaks or premature wear on brake pads and rotors, can compromise the safety of Ford Explorer owners and passengers.

Fuel System Issues: Some Ford Explorer models may encounter fuel system problems, such as fuel leaks or fuel pump failures, which can pose safety hazards and affect vehicle performance.

Ford Explorer Legal Matters

Ford Explorer Legal Matters

The Ford Explorer has faced legal challenges over the years, with several class-action lawsuits addressing concerns related to design and safety. Notably, allegations of concealed design flaws contributing to rollover crashes have prompted legal action, seeking accountability from Ford.

Additionally, lawsuits have arisen regarding carbon monoxide poisoning risks linked to cracked exhaust manifolds in certain Explorer models, aiming for appropriate defect resolution. These legal battles emphasise the significance of automakers maintaining stringent quality control and addressing safety issues promptly. Prioritising consumer safety and transparently managing concerns can foster trust and confidence among customers.

Ford Explorer Yearly Trends and Generational Issues

Ford Explorer Yearly Trends and Generational Issues

Understanding the yearly trends and generational issues of the Ford Explorer can provide valuable insights into common problems experienced by owners. Certain model years, like the 2002 model with its transmission failures and the 2004 model known for cracked rear panels, exhibit higher incidences of specific issues.

Additionally, each generation of the Ford Explorer, such as the 3rd generation (2002—2005) highlighted by our PainRank™ system for cracked panels and transmission failures, presents its unique set of challenges. Recognizing these trends enables owners to anticipate and address potential issues proactively, thereby prolonging their vehicle’s lifespan and ensuring a smoother driving experience.


While owning a Ford Explorer may come with its challenges, awareness of common issues and proactive maintenance can help mitigate these problems. By staying informed and addressing issues promptly, owners can enjoy a smoother ownership experience with their Ford Explorer.

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