Plastic Intake Manifold May Crack Causing Coolant Leak on Ford Explorer

The composite (plastic) intake manifold may crack near the thermostat housing and cause a coolant leak. Ford released an updated manifold that was reinforced to prevent a recurrence. No recall was issued for this problem but Ford did extend the warranty to seven years on some models from the date of purchase.

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Average mileage: 123,731 (11,000–235,000)
Engines affected: 4.0L V6, 4.0L V6 SOHC, 4.6L V8, 5.0L V8
11 model years affected: 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, more2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010
52 people reported this problem
32 people shared problem details
2008 Ford Explorer- 4.0L V6 SOHC106,500
Just got my 2008 Explorer back from the Ford Dealership for routine LOF and overall inspection. Was told I need a new upper thermostat housing ($375 including labor) and a new radiator ($655 including labor) because of leaks. My research indicates the former causes the latter. I never saw coolant on the garage floor. This appears to be a common problem and would appreciate Ford taking responsibility for installing a PLASTIC housing in an area that produces much heat. Cheap part for Ford, but very expensive to replace for their loyal customers.
2002 Ford Explorer- 4.6L V8
Plastic thermostat housing leaking. Ford wants hundreds of dollars to replace it. So many problems with the 2002 Ford Explorers. Why would Ford use plastic!! Very angry.
2002 Ford Explorer- 4.6L V8
my plastic piece cracked on the thermostat housing causing a coolant leak..and the problem has not been fixed yet..i need some money 2 help gettn it fixed because u have 2 replace the whole intake..
2005 Ford Explorer- 4.0L V6
leaking coolant not going to the oil or on the ground but you can smell it when turn your car off
2002 Ford Explorer- 4.0L V6 SOHC133,000
Problem: coolant leak from plastic thermostat housing, coolant seeping from center where two plastic halves are pressed together. Solution: replaced housing (no way to repair plastic)
2006 Ford Explorer- 4.6L V885,000
coolant leak after driving for so many miles
2007 Ford Explorer- 4.0L V6 SOHC73,500
Have had a coolant leak problem for over a year and the local Ford dealership was no help. All they wanted to do is leave the car with them for a few hours and maybe they could figure it out. Well don't have that kind of time or money since the car is no longer under warranty. Well at first thought water pump went out only to find out it was the thermostat housing has been the problem. If the local dealership was more helpful and if formed I would be out over $300 in cost so far. I really feel like Ford and their dealerships have let me down as a consumer of their products
My Explorer overheated out of the blue one day. I filled it with coolant and when leaving for work the next day I noticed fluid that had leaked onto the ground. When my mechanic checked it out he said it was coming from the Intake Manifold area and it was the gasket. I bought a new gasket. When my mechanic got into the intake manifold he found out that part of the plastic was broken off. He put the gasket on and sealed it. After letting it sit a couple of days we started it up and it was STILL leaking. I have been without my vehicle now for 2 months because I don't know what to do!!!! The parts associate at the dealership where I purchased the new gasket said that there was a lawsuit regarding this problem but it only covered vehicles through 2001 and for a recall settlement we would have to get a new lawsuit started for vehicles 2002 and newer!!!
Took the Ford in for a oil change was told that the Thermostat housing was cracked and needed to be changed out quoted me 150.00 for labor 375.00 for parts and labor. I think that I will just go to O Reilly's auto parts and just change out the parts myself it will be cheaper and at least I know that it will be done right. I think that Ford should put out a recall for this part seeming how there are so many parts on here that are showing cracking and wear and tear before the time shown on the parts website. These parts should be good at least until 100,000 miles and from all the comments it is showing that most are going out at 80K.
2004 Ford Explorer- 4.6L V8172,000
My 2004 Eddie bower edition v8 explorer just all of a sudden overheated no warning thought it was upper house turns out a cracked intake you would think when you spend almost 40 thousand on a vehicle and the company knows its a problem they knew about they would fix it by recall since its not only a few trucks but the majority of them I believe when I have this fixed it will be sold and I will never purchase another ford again !!!!!!! Its bad when imports are more dependable than American Mar vehicles. My next purchase will be a Toyota truck at least they are better built than ford
2004 Ford Explorer- 4.6L V8190,802
Leaking but not overheating
1999 Ford Explorer- 4.0L V6 SOHC175,000
Right below thermostat housing blew out.
2005 Ford Explorer- 4.0L V684,000
Replaced the thermostat plastic manifold but still have a leak some where lower.
2000 Ford Explorer- 5.0L V8
coolant is poring out below the water pump. Water pump and thermostat and thermostat housing replaced and I still have the problem.
2007 Ford Explorer- 4.0L V6119,000
Smelled coolant for several months. Could not detect leak. Today odor more noticable and had small leak under truck. Spotted coolant pooled atop engine block and seepage around bottom of thermostat housing. Will take to mechanic today
1998 Ford Explorer- 4.0L V6 SOHC178,600
I had the same problem - When I discovered that the plastic thermostat housing was cracked and leaking, a replacement part cost over $120 at the local discount auto parts. So I went online to ebay and found a complete new housing plus thermostat for $24 from foreverunauto seller. Problem was it takes a week for the part to come, and I needed to drive. So I took it apart myself and fixed it. I got a soldering iron and some black plastic zip ties (these are the same ABS plastic as the thermostat) and I melted the zip ties into the crack, then put it back together. Its been running fine since my repair, but I will put on the new part as soon as it arrives. Also note, it takes a special tool to remove the radiator fan, which I had to make. The rest took a few hours to take apart and a few more hours to put back together, when using a mechanics socket set and normal garage tools. Figure a whole day to do the repair yourself if you got the right tools.
2002 Ford Explorer- 4.6L V8111,000
my mechanic found a slow leak (2014) just below the thermostat housing as described in the article posted, we purchased the car new in 2002 (mercury mountaineer)always serviced at the dealership or a ford dealership.we never received any notice from the dealership which closed in 2007.the mechanic replaced the thermostat housing gasket, but it still leaked. he put stop leak in the system, it stop the leak until now july 15, 2015. my wifes mercury mountaineer now has 115,878 miles. the mechanic said the repair could cost about $1000. this problem should have been fixed by ford/ mercury as a factory defect & we should have been notified about the law suit so we could join the suit to receive the replacement service. please send information about the law suit so we may contact the law firm for assistance. my name is jerry r. Jackson. my email is thanks for an assistance with this problem you can provide
2010 Ford Explorer- 4.6L V8107,000
During an oil change the tech had to add approx 1 gallon of coolant. This prompted him to look for a leak. Knowing this was weak point he went straight to the problem, a cracked thermostat housing.
2005 Ford Explorer- 4.0L V675,000
Had to replace the plastic thermostat housing & the o ring on the temp. Sensor. It now has 93,000 miles & I have changed the o ring 2 more times.
second time had to replace thermosat housing due to crack ,leaking.
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