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Ford Explorer Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 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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Known Problems

The Ford Explorer 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. 

Drivers may notice the engine idling roughly, hesitation to accelerate, and even engine stalling on the Ford Explorer 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 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 Ford Explorer with automatic climate control may have a problem with frequent fan speed changes when using the heater or air conditioner. Normally, the fan speed changes only to maintain a selected temperature, but when the fan speed changes frequently and needlessly, there is an issue with the fan speed control unit. 

The fan speed control unit, sometimes erroneously called the blower motor resister, regulates the speed for the blower motor in order to maintain the temperature set by the driver. When it fails, the fan will run at random settings, and the climate control will be inaccurate.

Note: this does not affect the temperature of the air that comes from the vents, it affects the amount of air that comes from the vents. 

The repair is simple, and quick. The control unit is located behind the glove box in most models, and removal and installation takes only minutes.

Also note: this only applies to vehicles with single or dual automatic climate control.

The Check Engine Light will illuminate and the engine will idle roughly when cold. There are updated upper intake manifold gaskets to resolve the problem.

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

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).