pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
111,850 miles
Total Complaints:
24 complaints

Most common solutions:

  1. not sure (19 reports)
  2. ford dealer repaired (2 reports)
  3. replaced door latch and inside handle myself (1 reports)
  4. replaced door lock and actuator (1 reports)
  5. wd-40 (1 reports)
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problem #24

Jul 132013

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 152,236 miles

My drivers side door will only lock or unlock when the door is open. The rest of the doors lock just fine. This is incredibly annoying because it means when I go to my car at the end of the day I have to crawl across the center console to open the drivers side door...

- indie123, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

problem #23

Sep 242010

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles

At first, about two weeks ago, it was the passenger's door that would not close, then now the driver door lock took a few times to open, then it just didn't pop up, and since explorers door lock thing is inside the door you can't manually open the lock, so I was stuck in the drivers seat unless I slid through the passenger seat and over the armrest console which was a major pain. Could not even get inside my car from the outside even when I used the key to turn the lock, which would not turn open either. Had to take it to a mechanic and spent all day. He removed the part inside so I could buy it. Meanwhile I have to drive with a manual door, which only opens from the inside. Today is Saturday night and I will buy the padrt tomorrow if I can find it to have it fixed,

- pavargasan, Peabody, MA, USA

problem #22

Sep 122008

Explorer Sport V8 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 154,000 miles

The driver's side door can be difficult to open at times. It doesn't always do it, but it seems to be occurring more often then before. Is it a costly fix?

- huntfishhuntersc, Conway, SC, USA

problem #21

Dec 272009

Explorer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 165,000 miles

OK - I actually had the door lock actuator replaced once and it wasn't cheap. Now 4 years later it is happening again. Well I decided to look into this a bit more as I knew what the final bill was going to be. Upon inspection I can see that the actuator was actually replaced because the shop didn't rivet it back in place but used a locking nut which is fine and works well.

My problem was the door would not unlock 95% of the time when using the automatic lock and I could never unlock it manually. Once unlocked if I pressed the lock down I could not get it back up by hand. Now this being the issue I knew the problem wasn't the door lock actuator which I was hoping it would be because I could replace this for less than $100 dollars and I would not even need to drill anything out due to the last professional "repair" of the same issue. In desperation I squirted WD-40 into the locking mechanism into the middle of the door where the door actually locks when you closed it (not at the top next to the window) and low and behold I can now lock and unlock the door manually and of course it works with the actuator as well.

1st time this happened cost about $300 and the car being in the shop for a day.

2nd time this happened cost about 1.5 hours of my time with the solution actually taking about 30 seconds to squirt some WD-40 into the locking mechanism and work the lock up and down.

- Norm P., Fort Mill, SC, USA

problem #20

Mar 182009

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles

Driver side door lock will not work with key or remote. This very very inconvenient, I AM HANDICAPPED AND HAVE TO ASK A GOOD SAMARITAN TO CRAWL OVER CONSOLE, while I control my dog. I agree with those who wonder why there is no recall. Repair shop says he does alot of these repairs, costs about $200 to $400 to fix. I can't afford to get fixed.

- zander, Littleton, CO, US

problem #19

May 262009

Explorer Sport V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles

At first the driver door lock took a few times to open, then it just didn't pop up, and since explorers door lock thing is inside the door you can't manually open the lock, so I was stuck in the drivers seat unless I slid through the passenger seat and over the armrest console which was a major pain. Could not even get inside my car from the outside even when I used the key to turn the lock. Had to take it to a mechanic and spent all day and I think it was like $450 to have it fixed, and now the little square behind my door handle keeps coming undone.

- dinoant, Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #18

Jun 012009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,000 miles

Same as everyone else, driver's side door will not unlock. It's a manual key lock, no remote and the key just won't turn to open. Pressing the door lock/unlock buttons does not work anymore. I'd like to have it fixed but just spent hundreds on much needed brakes and tires. Not too happy that Ford hasn't recalled it since this is such a well known problem and so dangerous if I could not get out of the car in an emergency. I guess the recall is more expensive than a few lawsuits for lost lives.

- mcavanaugh, Portland, OR, USA

problem #17

Sep 122008

Explorer XLT 5.0L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 134,116 miles

I hate unlocking my doors and yet the only door needing to be unlocked won't open!!!

- Scott G., Colonial Beach, VA, USA

problem #16

Oct 212008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles

Same problem as others with drivers side door not unlocking. After a couple of months , took out fuse # 18 and just don't have my doors locked at all. But note if you do this your drivers seat if (power) will not work, but if I need to adjust it I just put the fuse in.

- T M., West, GA, USA

problem #15

Mar 032008

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 145,000 miles

Finally, I have a form to gripe about the many complaints I have about my form...today I'm beefing on how one day out of the blue the driver's side door unlocks only after you attempt to unlock it at least 5 times. I'm just waiting for the day, a police officer spots me trying to get into my own car and attempts to arrest for grand auto theft. Then and only then will I pay to have the problem fixed...hopefully Ford will recall the driver's side door lock.

- jdub, Richmond, VA, USA

problem #14

Jun 152005

Explorer Sport V6 Sohc

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,000 miles

All of a sudden the driver's side door would not unlock. Took it to the Ford dealer to have it replaced which set me back about $300. Which was well worth the door unlocking. Its not easy to crawl over the passenger seat with a skirt on. However, when I got my car back, since they had to replace the entire lock assembly, and they did not re-key the lock, the only way to get into my car is to use the remote. Ford will not fix the problem without charging me. I'm just praying that the remote doesn't break.

- Heather C., Alexandria, VA, US

problem #13

Aug 022007

Explorer 8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

I also have the problem with the door handle lock not opening. I had to get the inside door handle repaired because I broke it trying to get the door to unlock. I still do not have the lock fixed. Occasionally it decides to unlock on its own with the remote, but many times I have to crawl through the passenger side to get it unlocked because I am not tall enough to reach from the drivers side back door to unlock the drivers door. My key does not work in the car for some reason and the keyless entry will not work either when it decides not to work. This is really embarrassing and I am always scared someone is going to come up and mug me when I am trying to unlock the drivers door from the passenger side. It is very inconvenient when it is raining. I have read about this complaint on more than one website. What does it take for them to issue a recall and pay for this expensive problem.

- Susan J., Monroe, LA, US

problem #12

Jan 122008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,000 miles

Same as the rest. Door wouldn't unlock. Pulled inside handle so hard it broke too. So, if this is happening to you, save some money and fix it before the handle breaks also. I picked up the parts at the local Ford dealer for about $72. The latch was $48 and the handle was $24. I didn't even shop the internet because I wanted to get it over with. The parts guy said he sells a lot of them and always keeps them in stock - which allowed me to fix it in a couple of hours. It was kind of tricky getting all the levers disconnected from the latch, but if you like those puzzle where you try to figure out how two get the two pieces of bent metal apart, you'll love this. The door panel is probably one of the easiest I've ever taken apart. When I replaced the old one I discovered that the latch old latch was catching on itself and wouldn't operate smoothly. I also found a tiny spring in the bottom inside of the door. It's a very complicated mechanism but easily replaced if you have patience and keep track of which levers go where.

- Joe C., Bonaire, GA, US

problem #11

May 222007

(reported on)

Explorer Eddie Bauer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,000 miles

The lock on my driver's side door started sticking a couple of months ago. It is such a pain in the ass and the key will not unlock it. So far I have been lucky... if you keep pressing the unlock button on the remote transmitter the door will eventually unlock. I wonder how long before it stops working and I have to break down and fix it?

- redd_rocket, Bangor, ME, US

problem #10

Dec 012007

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles

At first I had to press the unlock button continuously to be able to enter from the outside. Then it got to the point that it wouldn't unlock from the outside at all. I had to reach through the passenger side to open it. NOW it won't open at all. It is so damn embarrassing to have to crawl through over the console. I have to wait until all the people around me are gone to exit my vehicle.

- Alyssa C., Morgantown, WV, USA

problem #9

Nov 142007

Explorer XLT 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 116,000 miles

It seems that there is a real problem with the drivers side door locking up denying access to the drivers seat. I like the other reports am having trouble with my driver side door. It is now locked and i cannot get in the car at all. It will not unlock no matter what combination of tricks i try. What makes this worse is that the door is in the closed position so you cannot even remove the inner door panel to see what could be causing the problem. I am in agreement with the other Ford Explorer owners that there should be some type of solution to this problem other than $370.00 to a dealership to get this fixed. If nothing else they should inform the owners of the problem and the solution to this problem if they decide to try and fix it. I have a 2001 Ford F250 where i am having trouble with the power locks on it also

- Mike D., Granite City, IL, USA

problem #8

Oct 082007

(reported on)

Explorer Limited 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,700 miles

I went to town to get Sunday paper. Shut car off. Pushed the Driver side unlock button. All doors except driver door unlocked. Pushed lock button many times (nothing happened). A little panic as I have bad leg and cannot get over the console to get out the passenger side door. Said bad things under my breath. Did not help. Kept hitting lock button, nothing. Then took hold of door handle and pushed button at same time. Oops, it opened. Got home, same thing, can't get out. Blew horn for wife to come out and help, but she's in the shower. Don't hear me. I hit the panic button and then the door lock and door handle. What do you know it opened.

I have an appointment to have it repaired at our local Ford dealer for $200.00 I think Ford should have a recall or at least pay for repair. I have in the past wrote a letter to Ford Motor Company on computer about problem with another Ford car and never even got an answer. Don't really know why I am still driving fords. Fix or repair daily

Good thing car was not on fire or I would not be writing this complaint.

Update from Oct 10, 2007: I took the Explorer in this morning to the local Ford garage. Cost of replacement of door lock and actuator was $201.43. Seems to work okay. Thank you for your effort.

- Clif P., Ogema, WI, USA

problem #7

Jul 242007

(reported on)

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 119,463 miles


- jhelton, Newville, PA, USA

problem #6

Apr 082007

(reported on)

Explorer Limited 4.0 V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

I got this vehicle from a family member in Jan. 06. Drove from OK to NC. Noticed the driver's door would not unlock at intermittent times. Also noticed that the key wouldn't turn the lock. Sometimes I would have to hit keyless entry and enter through passenger side door to unlock driver's door from inside by pulling handle. I figured out that if I quickly and repeatedly hit the "unlock" button on wireless key remote that the lock would eventually pop up and unlock. At this time, I noticed that when opening the door from inside, it was increasingly hard to pull handle and open door, basically felt like increased tension. After living with this for about a month, one night after arriving home from work, I pulled on the inner handle to open door, and felt a small "pop", and all tension (normal and otherwise) in the door handle dissipate. The door would not open from the inside any longer.

I took vehicle to Ford Dealer, and they said the "inner door latch" was broken and it was a common problem. They replaced inner door latch (parts inside of door panel), and the door lever on inside of vehicle. Parts and labor came to $350. A real pain in the you know what. I chalked it up to being an 8 year old vehicle with almost over 95,000 miles, and I knew the previous driver (relative of mine) was not the kindest to her vehicles. I was disappointed I had a repair bill after approx. 1 month of owning vehicle, and would have been even madder had I just put a down payment on this vehicle and was paying the bank a monthly payment.

As far a the locks not turning with the key. Mine work fine in mild weather. But, when it gets very cold out, I find that I had to push the key very firmly straight into the lock, wiggle to find the sweet spot, and it will turn. It is a factory key, not a replacement, so teeth on key are exact to specs. I've heard that a spray-type graphite applied to the locking mechanism will help free up the key lock.

- Jason H., Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #5

Mar 072007

(reported on)

Explorer LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 111,750 miles

These problems with doors not unlocking is a pain ass

ford should recall all SUVS. I am not only one this problem .

- Tonia B., Baltimore, MD, USA

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