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1991 Ford Explorer Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 1991 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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10
Known Problems

A cosmetic crack may develop on the plastic liftgate trim panel. Ford has released a service procedure to replace the applique without damage the the liftgate glass.

The Ford Explorer is known for a rough idle, engine stalling, loss of power, and misfires, accompanied by the check engine light.

The intake manifold O-ring gaskets commonly leak, which creates a large vacuum leak. This vacuum leak causes unmetered air to enter the engine, and the fuel system becomes insufficient to compensate for the large amount of air reaching the engine. 

Replacing the intake manifold gaskets corrects this concern.

If you experience difficulty starting the engine when cold, stalling at idle, or hesitations during acceleration, it may be the idle air bypass valve. This valve helps the vehicle idle steady when the accelerator pedal is not pressed.

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.

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 radius arm bushing may wear, causing a clunking or popping noise when driving over bumps. To repair, the bushings need to be replaced. Depending on the severity of the wear, the brackets may also need replacement. Driving with worn bushings will shorten tire life and cause tire cupping (uneven tire wear).

The front brakes may stick, bind, or grab. This can happen when the front brake caliper pins become corroded. Cleaning or replacing the caliper pins will be necessary to correct this problem.

Failure to change the power steering fluid can cause the fluid to become gray with metal particles. The contaminated fluid can damage the power steering pump resulting in a growling noise when the wheel is turned; the damaged pump will require replacement to eliminate the noise.. Life of the power steering gearbox and pump will be shortened if the fluid is not serviced regularly.

The O-ring seals in the AC couplings can develop leaks. The condenser can also crack and leak, which is sometimes misdiagnosed as a leaking coupling.  The condenser cracks out of sight, under the radiator support, so it looks like the coupler is leaking. Leak testing with fluorescent dye will help locate the exact source of the leak.

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.