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2009 Ford Explorer Sport Trac Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 2009 Ford Explorer Sport Trac 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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8
Known Problems

Replace the worn wheel bearings.

The Ford Explorer Sport Trac with the 4.6L V8 is known for displaying the normal symptoms of a coolant leak, including overheating, especially when the vehicle is idling, the strong smell of coolant from the engine, and illumination of the low engine coolant warning light

This leak is difficult to locate as it is buried underneath the intake manifold, and only begins to leak coolant onto the ground in advanced stages of disrepair. This leak springs from the heater tube, which allows coolant to flow between the water pump and HVAC heater core

When the connection for this tube begins to leak, the coolant burns on the hot engine, and produces a sweet smell that is unmistakably engine coolant. 

The remedy can be complicated, and will necessitate removal of the intake manifold, heater tube, and possibly the water pump. After removal of these items, the connector may be replaced, or a set of o-rings, depending on the year of the vehicle. Most vehicles, model 2002 and later, will have o-rings, and the water pump will not need to be removed. 

The Ford Explorer Sport Trac 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.

Drivers may notice the engine idling roughly, hesitation to accelerate, and even engine stalling on the Ford Explorer Sport Trac V8.

The mass air flow sensor (MAF) is prone to fail, and commonly is diagnosed as the faulty component when these issues arise.

When the Check Engine Light illuminates, and the diagnosis is a failed MAF, it will require replacement to correct the issue. 

Ensuring the air filter is installed properly, and sealed to the air filter housing, can help prevent MAF sensor issues. 

The Ford Explorer Sport Trac V8  has known issues with the V8 engine ejecting spark plugs. This will make a tapping or knocking noise, plus the engine will begin to misfire at all speeds. The check engine light will also illuminate.

The threads on the cylinder head of the are too short and soft, allowing pressure from combustion to overwhelm and destroy the threads. 

When the spark plug ejects, the cylinder head becomes damaged, necessitating repair of the spark plug port threads, or replacement of the cylinder head and cylinder head gasket. 

Ford has recommended a method of repair for the cylinder head that prevents the spark plug from ejecting under future use. Replacement of all spark plugs is not necessary, but an updated spark plug design can help prevent this from happening in the future. 

This vehicle is not covered under the TSB, but failure is common. 

The Ford Explorer Sport Trac V8  is known for intermittent rough idling, which may be accompanied by illumination of the check engine light, and poor fuel mileage.

This may be caused by the EGR sensor sticking, causing the EGR valve to stay slightly open, and diagnostic testing must be conducted.

The EGR valve and sensor must be replaced together to correct this concern.

 

The Ford Explorer Sport Trac V8 is known for idling roughly, with a slight whistling noise from the engine compartment. After a short time, this may result in poor fuel mileage, and illumination of the check engine light

This is caused by a cracked positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) valve hose, which allows a small vacuum leak, and improper evacuation of engine crankcase pressure.

Correction is simple, and requires replacement of the PCV hose. An updated part may be available. 

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.