pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
83,950 miles
Total Complaints:
11 complaints

Most common solutions:

  1. replaced module (8 reports)
  2. not sure (3 reports)
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This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Ford dealer.

problem #11

Jan 012006

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L Sohc

  • Automatic transmission
  • 24,855 miles

The 4x4 HIGH light would go on and off randomly and then it reached a point where you couldn't drive it. Mechanics had a tough time figuring out the problem. Changed the entire transaxle, which didn't fix it and then realized it was the control module.

- Mike P., Saskatoon, SK, Canada

problem #10

Aug 102010

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

The 4WD control module in my 2002 XLT went out unexpectedly and w/o warning. Upon looking up information on the issue online, I found that this problem is ALL TOO COMMON! I have called Ford Corporate several times over the years to resolve this issue to no avail. The truck's fuel and tires don't last near as long as they should (as the vehicle is in constant 4WD since the issue started).

Ford knows about this issue and refuses to cover a faulty part. They prefer to charge $750+ labor to replace the little black box behind the glove box. I did find a new control module online through a parts dealer for much cheaper, however, it was discontinued when I tried to order one. To this day, the vehicle remains in this sad state costing me more than it should to operate.

This is the first and LAST Ford I will ever own. Way to show American pride in your product, Ford!

- Phil V., Washington, PA, US

problem #9

Jun 012007

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

Not living in a part of the country where the winter's don't get that bad often, and as I rarely need to use it off road, I never thought the cost of replacing the unit to be that important. But after reading about others having the same problem, and quite a lot of others, I think this is something that Ford should have stepped up to the plate and fixed in the first place. I would understand if it weren't such a common problem with the 02's. Just kinda peeves me at Ford a bit.

- jdb1963, Jimmy Byington, TN, US

problem #8

Dec 222008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 170,000 miles

When I purchased the vehicle this problem existed and I took it back, then they had gotten it under control. It sounded when I made a turn that the axle was falling out. This problem has occurred two - three other times after I have gotten something fixed on it, the 4 wheel drive lights will come on and it acts up. It may take a few days or so for me to mess with the 2 or 4 wheel buttons.

This is my first purchase of a Ford vehicle and the last purchase too and I have so many family members that have retired from there and some still are employed there, but I will not even think about buying another Ford product again.

- boozie, Louisville, KY, US

problem #7

Feb 012010

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 119,000 miles

I'd just got my Explorer out of the shop from having them rebuild the transmission. A week later, we get snow for the second time this year. As I'm pulling out of the driveway I push the 4 HIGH button, but I slide across the road. NOTHING. My 4WD doesn't work anymore! Why? I tell the shop that it worked perfectly fine a month ago when we had our first snow. WTH?? They tell me it's just one of those things that goes out on SUVs. Really? It was nothing to do with them working on the Transmission. They estimate to me $250 tops. I get a call today. It's done... and the bill will be over $400. But they're not charging me labor. WHAT??? I'm buying a frickin' Honda next year!!!

- trace, Celina, OH, US

problem #6

Aug 102009

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles

88,000 mile and well maintained had both rear wheel bearings fail, front and rear speed sensors failed, 4x4 control module failed, and a noise in the rear diff. $2,200 to fix. This will be the last American car I buy! Now wonder the American auto industry is in deep sh*t. Learn how to make a reliable car guys!

- Jeff R., Appleton, WI, US

problem #5

Jan 012009

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles

had rear wheel bearing replaced with parking brake, which was in pieces, even though i never use it. next day, 4 wd module quit during snow storm. Almost went off road several times. Hardly ever engaged 4 high or 4 low/ spent almost 98% of time in regular drive. 360$ for just the part. This is ridiculous and is destroying my budget. Loved the body size, etc., but, geez, 86000 miles and i'll end up replacing transmission, multiple bearing, and the host of other common defects built into this garbage skow. This is my second Ford and will be the last. I didn't get 85000 miles out of my Taurus either when it puked its transmission. This xlt also has defective valve chain tensioners, too. the dealership recommends pulling the engine to replace all three at a cost of over $5500 - on a vehicle with a $5500 trade-in. Shame on Ford - you try to buy American and you get screwed by an American (so-called) company. Am I a fool, or what?

- Richard S., Allison Park, PA, US

problem #4

Jun 102007

Explorer Eddie Bower 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

I have a neutral tow package on it to tow it behind me explorer well we went on a trip and everything worked up untill we tryed to hook up again and it wouldn't go into neutral tow. Then the 4wd would not work at all! it took us like an hour shifting through all the gears and shutting it on and off then we finally got it to go in. when we got back home we brought to the dealer and they said we have to replace the hole board!!!! its ridiculous!!!! stupid!!!! i couldnt believe but it had to be done!

- Tim D., Forest Grove, OR, US

problem #3

Feb 282008

Explorer XLS 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,270 miles

Well, add to my transmissions accumulator piston breaking and a snapped band the failure of my traction control module as well,,

Thanks a lot Ford (Fails On Repair day), you stupid M-Fer's!!!!!!!!!! At least my friend saved me big time vs what others have posted their tranny repairs cost them, but now with long trips planned driving through heavy snowfalls, i'm F-ed!!

You corporate assholes need to have your fukkin' heads examined, and you wonder why you're losing Ford faithful from yrs gone by!?!?,, Well guess what?? you just lost me too you jack asses,,

Signed: OPMF! (One Pissed Mother F'er!)

- John E., Flint, MI, US

problem #2

Feb 202006

Explorer Eddy Bower V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

My Explorer locked in 4wd and caused tires to squeal in tight turns, and some times to jump. This was the second time it occurred so I new basically what the problem was. Took it in and they had to replace sensor and module. This vehicle has never been off road and never manually used the 4wd, and only a couple of time had the 4wd kicked in that I know of.

How can a company have parts that have no moving parts fail? Its not like if wore out.

- Roy J., Chandler, AZ, US

problem #1

Dec 082007

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

First snow...4WD will not work in any mode...Off to the dealer...labor 163.00, new Traction Control Module 259.00...all better... (Used part number from receipt to search for DIY prices...as low as 150.00 for module...part number # 2C5Z7E453A...I believe module is located under dash on passenger side...should be plug and chug.)....This is my second and last Explorer...to many reoccurring issues on vehicles with less than 100k miles...For such a long running line, you'd think they would get it right at their expense and not ours...

- Brian M., Beaver, PA, US