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Ford Explorer common problems (1991-2001)

Ford Explorer common problems solved with Haynes

Explorer. The very name conjures up images of vast vistas, just waiting to be traversed by adventurers in search of their fortunes. And that’s why people love their Ford Explorers, despite the fact that the most exhilarating task they’re likely to do is drop off junior at summer camp.

But no matter if you’re discovering new lands or simply heading to the store, you want your Explorer to get you there (and preferably back) with the minimum of fuss and expense. And what better way to ensure that is to know your own vehicle inside out, and to fix any issues yourself as soon as they arise, saving yourself both anxiety and expense.

That’s where Haynes can be your very own Jiminy Cricket, keeping you on the right track as you travel along your home-mechanic journey. We’re there every step of the way.

Ford Explorer problems solved with Haynes

What recalls has the Ford Explorer been subject to?

The first two generations of Ford Explorer have been around for quite a while now, which means they’ve been recalled a few times.

Early cars were recalled to have their rear bumpers reinforced after it was found that extended towing could cause it to crack.

The heat shield on some cars could touch the fuel tank in some models, and that same tank could have a faulty vapor vent valve carrier.

Faulty seat belts caused another trip back to the dealerships for Ford Explorers, as did defective studs that attached the brake master cylinder to the vacuum booster.

And a number of vehicles were recalled to have the brackets attachments for the tailgate hydraulic struts replaced.

What common problems does the Ford Explorer have?

Quite a few Ford Explorers have suffered an issue with their suspension, which gives an unacceptably bouncy ride quality.

The ventilation system has also been the cause of an issue in which not enough air gets sent to the floor area while the car is defrosting.

If your Ford Explorer has a rattly steering column then you’re not along. Many examples do, and it’s caused by a dislocated spring in the tilt lever.

Power door locks can also cause a few issues on the Ford Explorer, most notably when the actuator disengages from the bracket, preventing you from getting into the vehicle.

Rear wipers on Ford Explorers are also known to be prone to the odd glitch, in which they either work erratically or fail to work at all. And of course, the first time you discover this will be on a day when it’s pouring.

Ford Explorer common problems

Does the Ford Explorer have suspension problems?

Indeed it does. Numerous owners have complained that their Ford Explorer has a ride quality that’s far too bouncy, particularly along the freeway.

The first port of call is to check the tire pressures, because if these are set too high then they could cause this problem.

However, if the tires are at the right pressure, then you’ll need to replace all four shock absorbers.

However, with your trusty Haynes Explorer manual by your side, this should be no problem. We’ve covered this procedure is real detail, so you should have no problems at any stage. Just follow the steps and you’ll be fine.

And if you want to change the rear brake pads on your Ford Explorer, simply check out our FREE video below.

Does the Ford Explorer have ventilation problems?

Some owners have reported that their Ford Explorer doesn’t send enough air to the floor area when they’re defrosting the windshield, resulting in them having exceptionally chilly feet.

The problem is excessive air bleed to the defroster caused by a faulty floor/defroster door. The solution is to install a new door, which means you’ll need to remove the affected section of the ventilation system from the vehicle, fit the new door and reinstall the ventilation set-up in the Explorer.

As ever, we’re way ahead of you, because we’ve covered this task for the Haynes Explorer manual, so just check out the procedure and pictures, and away you go.

Ford Explorer problems fixed with Haynes

Does the Ford Explorer have rattling problems?

It’s bad enough when your car develops a faint rattle from somewhere that you can’t see. It’s there but it’s far away. Okay, you can live with that. Just turn up the music. However, if your Ford Explorer develops the all-too-common dislocated spring from the steering column tilt lever, then that rattle is going to be front and centre on every single journey. It needs to be sorted or one day you might lose your rag and torch the car.

Just as well it’s an easy repair. Al you need do is remove the steering wheel, remove a plastic collar from the tilt flange, then replace the spring before refitting everything just the way it was – except with the spring in the right place and doing its job.

Again, we’ve removed the steering wheel and column in your Haynes Explorer manual, so we can help with this procedure. Easy.

Ford Explorer common issues

Does the Ford Explorer have door lock problems?

Yes, you want your car’s security to be robust enough to stop other people getting into the vehicle, but it’s a major pain in the behind when the car stops you from getting into it. Doesn’t it know who you are?

The issue arises when the power door lock actuator becomes detached from the mounting bracket, and the fix entails removing the actuator and bracket from the door, then replacing the bracket with a new one, before attaching the actuator and replacing the whole lot in the affected door.

We’ve stripped down the doors of the Ford Explorer for the Haynes Explorer manual, so anything you need will be contained in it.

Ford Explorer problems solved with Haynes

Does the Ford Explorer have rear wiper problems?

Annoying. You hit the freeway in your Ford Explorer just as the rain starts to fall. Before long, it’s a deluge, and the front wipers are having to put in quite a shift. As for the rear? Umm, it’s working the same way as a teenager when asked to cut the grass – do a bit, then stop, then do a couple of bits, then stop for a break… You know how this goes.

The good news is that there’s a chance it’s not actually broken, it’s just out of adjustment. So, you’ll need to get to the wiper assembly, which is where we can help, because we’ve already removed a wiper assembly from a Ford Explorer and written all about it in the Haynes Explorer manual.

Then it’s just a case of adjusting the mechanism so it works freely before reassembling everything. It’s easy!