really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
85,250 miles
Total Complaints:
12 complaints

Most common solutions:

  1. replace throttle body (6 reports)
  2. not sure (4 reports)
  3. engine replacement (1 reports)
  4. replace power steering sensor (1 reports)
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problem #12

Apr 212018

Explorer XLT 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles

When driving a warm vehicle (meaning it was driven and then parked for 1-5 hours) then driving it a second time within this time frame, the vehicle will die after driving 15-25 minutes. When this happens, the radio continues to work, the engine shuts off, the interior lights come on and the lights around the speedometer come on. The rest of the instrumental panel is dead. The remote will lock and unlock the doors. The car will remain in this state for anywhere from 10 seconds to 4 or 5 minutes.

This has happened 6 or so times in the month that I have had the vehicle. It has happened pulling up to a stop sign and also going 75 mph on the interstate (which is very scary). It has always happened in this 15-25 min timeframe. I have never had it happen in less time than this time nor have I had it happen after the vehicle has run cleanly for 25-30 min. I have driven the vehicle to Akron, OH and back. It happened twice on that trip. One time after we had driven for ~3 hours, stopped to eat for an hour and then got back on the road. It died about 15-20 min after we were on the road. It stayed in the "dead" state for about 2 minutes, then started back up and I was able to drive another 3 hours with no issue. It happened a second time when we were getting ready to travel home. We drove about 3 miles to a restaurant, ate for about an hour again. Then when we got on the road to travel back it died about 15-20 min after we got on the road. This time it was only out for about 15 seconds because it came back on and jump started before I could even get it off the road. This is the only time that has happened.

- Jamie W., Georgetown, KY, US

problem #11

Sep 162019

Explorer Limited 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 161,000 miles

Pain in my ass - my warranty expired 600 miles and of course a truck I got almost 4 months ago is messed up and now my engine stalling and the truck is overheating.

- Nicole A., Alton, US

problem #10

Feb 072020

Explorer Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 221,750 miles

While driving the car on the highway, it periodically shuts down. On the way home from work, the car shut down 4 times. On the last time, the battery went dead and needed a jump start. I continued home, and it shut off 3 more times, but was able to restart and continue each time.

Recently, while driving on the highway, when I slow the car to stop or make a turn, the warning "collision control not available," "traction control needs serviced," and "auto trac not available" appears. From this point forward, cruise control will not work (because the collision control does not work). Once the car is turned off, it resets; then occurs again on the next trip.

I have taken it to the dealer. They had it for three days and could not find the issue. No codes are present when hooked to the computer.

Other issues that occur: every time you turn on the car, the radio is at full blast, even if you have turned it off before shutting down car. And the camera only works periodically.

- rjr72, Guysville, US

problem #9

Dec 272019


  • Automatic transmission
  • 121,000 miles

Ok we purchased my 2011 Ford Explorer off the lot in 2012 We paid for the extended warranties and all oil changes for the life of the vehicle through Ford. On 12.27/2019 I was driving and the car had no power did not feel right. Immediately without warning started over heating. I pulled over to let it cool off. temp went down. Attempted to get it home low oil pressure lights and over heating went off again. Barley made it home with multiple stops along the way for it to cool down. Towed it to FORD service. Was informed the water pump went out which caused the timing chain to "exploded" sending coolant into the oil and metal fragments into the engine. FULL ENGINE REPLACEMENT was the only solution. $8500.00 car is now a lawn ornament. Mileage was 121,000 just after all warranties had expired.

- Andrew V., Eagle, US

problem #8

Jun 302016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,000 miles

AWD OFF indicator light came on and displayed a wrench icon - with no warning the car went into limp mode and there was no response to throttle - had my two young children in the car and we were driving on a MAJOR highway. Thankfully we were in the right lane so I could limp off to the side, but had we been in the left lane it easily could have caused a fatal car crash. We sat on the side of the highway with the car off for a half hour and when I started it back up , the engine light came on but the other lights went off and we drove slowly the hour and half in the right lane to get home.

- Kate N., Kalamazoo, MI, US

problem #7

Jul 172016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,369 miles

AWD OFF indicator light came on and displayed a wrench icon - with no warning the car went into limp mode and there was no response to throttle - had my whole family in the car including two young children. Thankfully we were on the side roads and were barely able to limp the car the quarter mile back home. After shutting car off and starting it back up the car started back up and all lights were off.

- Kate N., Kalamazoo, MI, US

problem #6

Jan 152016

Explorer XLT 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,200 miles

A car this new should not have this problem. Someone is going to be killed because of it and Ford refuses to recall the part and replace it.

- Ryan B., Naples, FL, US

problem #5

Jan 062016

Explorer XLT 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,000 miles

Ford recalled this in the Edge but not the Explorer, which is idiotic. Lets say I'm driving down the highway and all of a sudden my car dies, or accelerates on its own and my family is KILLED because of it! Add it to the recall list before this happens.

- Ryan B., Naples, FL, US

problem #4

Sep 142015

Explorer Limited 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,402 miles

click to see larger images

engine stalls/dies while driving

On Monday 9/14, the engine died off only a couple of feet away from our driveway. The check engine lit on, and also a yellow wrench. So my wife coasted her way home. It was too late already to take it to the dealer for a checkup. The following day 9/15 we both went to work and I drop her at work. I called the dealership, and I was told they were booked for a whole week and I would have to make an appointment to get a diagnostics. But surprise, it would cost me $120 just to know whats the problem.

So I called a second dealership, and i couldn't get with the service dept, I was transferred many times.Then at the end of the day they returned my call. This dealership takes first come first served at the same price. So I decided to drive the vehicle to them, but 10 minutes down the highway once again the engine died. I might have driven about 1 mile down the highway with the rush hour traffic. So I decided to turn it off, and start it again. It would reset, but 10 minutes later it would die again. So I decided to go back home, 1 mile felt like 10 miles. I pretty much coasted my way home.

I decided to call a local shop, and the friendly owner gave me a free diagnostics. It gave me an OBD CODE P2111, long story short. I will have to buy the throttle body for close to $400. He also noticed motor oil traveling into the throttle body, he tells me that this is not suppose to happen. This could be the cause that the throttle gave out. So today I am going to buy the throttle body at the dealership that returned my call, and while I was talking to the parts depart rep over the phone. He tells me all happy, just myself I have sold like 40 of this in no time. I'm guessing they get commission.

That tells you that 40 Explorer owners went thru some life time experiences or near death, God forbid. LESSON LEARNED FROM THIS. THIS IS THE FIRST AND LAST FORD VEHICLE MY FAMILY WILL BUY. I'm also saying this because today I found this website, and will post the rest of the issues that this vehicle has given us.

- mgilberto, McAllen, US

problem #3

Sep 062014

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles

For the last 2 months, our 2011 Explorer has been going dead from time to time. It happened while I was driving the first time and has happened to my wife about 10 times. It shuts off the engine in the first 15-30 minutes of driving and displays a wrench icon on the instrument panel. You have to stop and restart the vehicle to be able to drive again. This isn't such a big deal in the neighborhood, but is scary in the left lane of the highway (which has happened).

We've been to two different Ford dealers who told us that the wrench icon does not store codes and that if they couldn't recreate the problem the didn't know how to fix it. We left the vehicle at the 2nd dealer for 2 weeks and, although they claimed to drive it every day, they could not find a problem.

After this happened 3 times in one day to my wife, she took it to a local mechanic whom we have done business with in the past. He found oil in the throttle body where it should not be. He even made a video to show me: http://youtu.be/2bmmF9f845w

He replaced the throttle body for $650 (>$400 parts). I suppose we shall see if the issue comes back, but it seems OK now. The mechanic feels that the problem will come back in 30K-40K miles. It seems to be a design problem allowing oil into the throttle body which gunk's it up and causes the throttle to stick. When the computer system senses this, it just shuts everything down.

- Todd F., Hattiesburg, MS, US

problem #2

Mar 012014

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,000 miles

We brought the car to the dealership and they ran a diagnostic and told us the issue and that it would cost $2,000 to fix. After getting off the floor I took to the internet and searched the issue to find out that there have been a number of owners that have had the same problem. I called Ford customer service and they opened a case for us. they came back with $1,000 in financial assistance but it will still cost us $1,000 for something I feel is not a part that "wears out". It is a very dangerous issue and I think that Ford should take care of replacing the part entirely.

- Geoffrey S., Mantua, NJ, US

problem #1

Aug 292013

Explorer Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,000 miles

lost power, wrench warning light on

This happened twice in one day where the car died while driving. Luckily I was able to move the car off to the shoulder. Dealer drove the car for three days without incident. No codes registered in computer. I will worry every time I drive it that this might happen again. Would greatly appreciate an answer as to why this is happening.

- Mark L., Felton, DE, US