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1996 Ford Explorer Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 1996 Ford Explorer based on complaints from actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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12
Known Problems

Various problems with the 5-speed automatic transmission were common. These problems can be more common on the 2002 models with build dates before March, 2002. There are many service bulletins describing the diagnoses and repairs, which include fluid leak repairs, transmission software updates, or internal failures requiring a costly repair.

A failed heater blend door or actuator can cause the temperature control for the HVAC system to stop working. A clicking sound from the dash area would commonly indicate an actuator fault. If the heater gets stuck on the hottest setting, the heater blend door may be broken requiring replacement of the heater box to repair the issue.

A rattling noise from the engine may indicate that the timing chain cassette is worn. Our technicians tell us that installing an updated cassette and timing chain tensioner should correct this concern.

The Ford Explorer with the optional 5.0L/302ci V8 may develop misfires, rough running, and loss of power, accompanied by the check engine light illuminating.

Ignition wires can rest on the exhaust manifolds if they are not properly secured. The hot manifolds will melt the insulation on the wires, damaging the wires and causing the mentioned condition. 

Replacement of the ignition wires, and securing them away from the exhaust manifold is necessary to remedy the rough running conditions. 

A ticking noise may develop from the engine due to a cracked exhaust manifold. Damaged exhaust manifolds will require replacement to correct this issue.

The rear window wiper may not fully contact the rear window. Our technicians tell us that replacing both the wiper blade and wiper arm will generally correct this issue.

The rear wiper may stop working. This could be due to a rear wiper motor that has failed requiring replacement.

If a noise from the rear end is heard when going around turns or after driving at highway speed for an extended period, this could be caused by a failing deferential clutch kit. An updated differential clutch kit available.

4wd vehicles may develop a squealing noise coming from the front wheels when driving below 30 mph. This is generally caused by dry excluder seals, lubricating the seals will commonly correct this concern.