Last post on Sep 23, 2012 at 6:17 PM
You are in the Ford Explorer
What is this discussion about?
Ford Explorer, SUV
Nov 11, 2007 (10:14 am)
m never buying another Ford. I used to be a staunch "Buy American" consumer. As American car companies market share continued to plummet, I continued to feel that it is my patriotic duty to buy American.
Well, I finally woke up and realized that everyone else is right, and that I was naive.
Last week the O/D light came on in my Ford Explorer. I drove it right home and got the manual out to see what the problem was. "Transmission problem" was what the manual indicated, as well as several websites I reviewed.
I didn't worry at first, since I figured this would be covered under warranty. My Explorer is just under 5 years old and just under 60K miles. Surely there would at least be a 60K power train warranty. No one would buy a vehicle if they knew the transmission would only last 59K miles.
Well, the dealer told me a new transmission was needed (5th and 2nd gears were worn down), that it would cost $3500, and that it is not covered by warranty. And to add insult to injury he charged me $90 to tell me the transmission was bad (something I obviously knew) - isn't this similar to stealing?
I then asked him what trade in value I could get (not that I really would buy another poor quality Ford, but I wanted to explore all options). $5500 is the most they could give. I laughed - since I had taken very good care of the vehicle. It told me that they didn't want the vehicle either - so much for them really standing behind their product. They know the quality is poor.
Obviously I was quite irritated. I asked what caused this. None of the possibilities applied since I took good care of the vehicle and had it serviced according to the maintenance manual. In fact, the dealer (Cover Ford in Austin) did the 30K checkup. I spent $1K on that (and probably got ripped off).
I took it to a transmission specialist and had it fixed for under $2500. He informed me that he sees a lot of issues like this with Explorers - probably a poor design and poor quality. Also, judging by various websites there are indeed lots of complains like this.
I wouldn't be surprised if Ford knew of the poor design - since the warranty that came with the vehicle was only 3 yr/36K even for powertrain. If Ford had good quality, why couldn't they step up to the plate and offer 60K or even 100K power train warranty. They must have known the poor quality. In my mind, this is deceptive practice - and I kick myself for not recognizing this as a red flag.
Well, for the 2008 Explorer I see Ford is offering 60K powertrain warranty. So they must have made some improvements (which further underscores their recognition of the poor quality in earlier years). But it's still a far cry from 100K that some vehicles come with. You also have to wonder what other quality issues are lurking.
I think the choice is now clear to me. In the future I will be considering something like a Honda Pilot. Ford deserves the trend of lower market share. Consumers are very wise, and the quality the provide is reflected in their declining sales and marketshare.
Please don't make the same mistake I made. The foreign competition provides much better quality and customer service.
#18 of 28 Re: Are Ford Explorers Junk? [writerhopeful]
Jun 17, 2008 (4:03 am)
No. I have a '94 with a 4.0 L V6 that I bought new. It now has 320,000 miles on it and is still running strong. Burns no oil, no tranny problems. Heads never off. One tune-up. No 4WD problems. A very reliable truck.
#19 of 28 Re: Are Ford Explorers Junk? [jwp1775]
Aug 15, 2008 (2:00 pm)
I own a 2002 that I purchased new. It had the cracked rear panel, seat belt light, and airbag light fixed under warranty. However at 67k the rear bearings went out and it cost me over $1,000 to fix it. The dealer wanted more just for one wheel so I took it to my local mechanic. They had one helluva time with it. I see that wheel bearings are a chronic problem on this car. Just hope my transmission lasts. This was my 13th Ford and I am sad to say that it will be my last. The wheel bearings are a design defect, installed with way too much preload and should be the subject of a recall. Where do you go when the brand you have cheered for lets you down?
#20 of 28 Just think carefully
Aug 26, 2009 (10:27 pm)
I would not call them junk, but you need to be very careful about what year you want. If you're thinking about a 2002, think again. Whenever its a model change, and the 02 is a drastic model change, there are going to be lots of issues. Fortunately, I was lucky, because i read many horror stories about owners with 02s. I did have the trans rebuilt, and I just had to deal with it. I will admit that i feel very safe in my explorer. The 4x4 comes in quite handy during the michigan winters. the back trim panel has a crack, just like the others, but it doesn't matter. for the most part, mine has been ok, the usual stuff, wheel bearings, which are expensive, the back coil springs cracked and replaced. just think carefully what you want before you go out and get one.
#21 of 28 Love my Explorer
Sep 27, 2009 (8:23 pm)
I have a 2003 Explorer with a V8 and a third row seat. I bought it to replace a 1997 Toyota Camry, as we needed something with towing capacity and the ability to hold up to 4 kids in the back during carpools to school and after school activities. It is a great vehicle. We did have transmission problems, but only after about 110,000 miles, half of which were spent towing a large bass boat. The interior features were well thought out and I loved the split door feature on the tailgate. Very easy to pop the rear window and drop in a couple bags of groceries, baseball equipment, soccer equipment, etc. If you need to really haul something, the rear seat folded flat and the entire tailgate lifts. I would recommend running boards, else you end up hopping into the car. My family has had great experience with Ford trucks (dad's most recent F150 had over 250,000 miles) and will continue to buy them.
I think it is a mistake to think that you can avoid car problems by buying a particular make. And I disagree in particular with the broad assertion that foreign competitors provide much better quality. For example, we spent 25% more on a Camry than I would have spent on a better equipped Taurus. My husband leased a Taurus a year or two later and had absolutely no problems with it the entire time he had it (about 80,000 miles). Meanwhile, I was warned by Toyota of an "oil gelling" problem that may occur if I followed the recommended oil change schedule. And I had numerous other smaller problems that took me to the dealer, as well as poorly designed interior features (seat belt, cup holder and vanity mirror) that broke within a couple of years of light use.
#22 of 28 My 2006 Ford Explorer is Junk
Oct 21, 2009 (6:44 am)
This message is for those that may ask the question about whether Ford Explorers are junk. This is a company car and is taken in for service on a regular basis. Junk issues as follows:
42,000 Miles - radiator replacement
72,000 Miles - front wheel bearing replacement
86,000 Miles - radiator replacement
109,000 Miles - transmission replaced
133,000 Miles - radiator replacement - service informed me that Ford acknowledged problems and issued a corrective action bulletin with dealerships.
When I buy my next car Ford, GM and Chrysler will not be on the list of choices!!!
#23 of 28 ford explorers are not good
Jan 21, 2012 (9:19 pm)
I could add to that class action suit as at 72,000 miles my transmission was replaced due to unpredictable, dangerous stalling while driving 75 miles per hour on a freeway, a ford dealer told me to replace the transmission as the transmissiom head had completely cracked?
I have since read on this blog of a similar problem that some one else had and they only replaced the V2V valve, now am wondering if I got taken by ford yet again, anyway I have also had to replace the ball joints in front at 72000 miles, so I would be interested in a suit
#24 of 28 Re: ford explorers are not good [chloe14]
Feb 01, 2012 (1:14 am)
I bought my 96 Explorer 4x4 in September of 2009 for a thousand bucks. I have put 160,000 miles on it in two years. I have had the usual wheel bearing issues with it (four in two years) but the tranny didn't start failing until this year. I think that's pretty good for 300,000 miles. The seats are a poor design, one of these days I might go to the junkyard and buy a seat from a newer one with a better design but who knows. I'll still run the crap out of my Explorer and it will keep me going.
#25 of 28 Re: My 2006 Ford Explorer is Junk [davestr]
May 07, 2012 (8:22 am)
Ford replaced our 2006 Ford Explorer radiator 3 times as well! The last time was at 102,000 and even though my husband brought the vehicle in several thousand miles before that - they misdiagnosed the problem so we were stuck paying for the radiator and Ford would not honor the warranty. Now we are at 104,000 miles we are having tranny problems. The vehicle will be going into the mechanic tonight for repair. We always try to buy American products, but highly doubt that we would buy another Ford. We owned serveral Explorers prior to this one, and have always had problems.
#26 of 28 Re: Are Ford Explorers Junk? [writerhopeful]
May 09, 2012 (8:45 am)
Yes, the current Xploder model is nothing more than JUNK.
Junk that Ford couldn't sell when it was labelled FreeStyle....
And then also didn't sell labeled as a Taurus X.....
Now they relabelled it yet again as an Xploder and the name just simply fits.
EB, Eddie Bauer (not EcoBoost) is simply a nice set of seat covers.
EB, EcoBoost is now dead in the water, Ford will undoubtedly soon be licensing Mazda's SkyActiv, or if Mazda is smart this time Ford will have to BUY Mazda.
The ony good news is that Ford is now using water cooling of the PTO in order to alleviate, possibly, the high failure rate of same. It looked to me as if the coolant was also being piped all the way back to the rear diff'l/clutch in order to cool it and alleviate another HOT spot.
Anyone know the truth on that last bit..?