If you find CarComplaints.com is helpful ... We rely completely on word of mouth. Talk about us on Facebook, Twitter, tell your mother-in-law. Help us help more people.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 17
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
67,814 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

1997 Ford Expedition electrical problems

electrical problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 1997 Ford Expedition:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

1997 Ford Expedition Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #37

Feb 112009


  • 184,000 miles


1997 Ford Expedition has water in stereo causing electrical fire in dash. No water leaks found. Windshield was resealed and water tested.

- Pekin, IL, USA

problem #36

Jan 052008


  • 98,000 miles
After rain, water leaked through windshield on 1997 Ford Expedition resulting in electrical anomalies. This could pose a fire hazard.

- Middletown, VA, USA

problem #35

Feb 162008

Expedition 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Start my truck as usual every morning to let idle before I go to work. 5 to 10 min.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #34

Oct 182007

Expedition 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles


The contact owns a 1997 Ford Expedition. The contact noticed smoke coming from underneath the front driver seat. She removed her daughters from the rear seats and when she returned, the front of the vehicle was engulfed in smoke and the front seat was in flames. The fire department arrived and extinguished the fire. The vehicle is currently at the same location. The current and failure mileages were 150,000.

- Madrid, NY, USA

problem #33

Apr 162007

Expedition 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 124,500 miles
In 1998, my 1997 Ford Expedition began having electrical problems. Window locks going up and down on their own, radio playing when no one was in the car, clicking from under the dash, seatbelt lights coming on when seatbelts were being worn, wipers working on their own. I had this vehicle in the shop multiple times for these issues. After having his vehicle in the shop numerous times to no avail, I threatened a law suit if something wasn't done. The dealership called in a crew that they referred to as the rain doctors. Come to find out, the windshield was leaking on the GEM module and shorting out the electrical system. The vehicle was under warranty at that time. Now, in 2007, I am still driving the same 1997 exped. In the last few weeks, all these problems have started all over again. This time, the 4X4 cluster lights coming on and going off, clicking under the dash again, heater coming on by itself when car isn't running and running the battery down, beeping under the dash on passenger side, radio playing on its own. The whole scenario happening all over again. I am currently parking the vehicle 100 yards from my house for fear it may catch on fire by itself as I have read many, many instances in which the 1997 exped. Caught fire while parked. This should be a recall by now. Several recalls on this vehicle but all these were checked out. However, I cannot for the life of me understand why this leaky windshield problem is not being recalled. Now ten years later, when this problem is discussed at garages and parts store in my community, the technicians immediately are familiar with the problem. Again, I cannot imagine why this has not been a recall issue. The first time I went through this nightmare, it was under warranty. This time, I guess it is completely up to me to repair this faulty windshield problem. I sincerely hope no one dies or has died due to one of these Expedition catching fire. Recall where are you"?"!!!!!

- Wytheville, VA, USA

problem #32

Mar 302007


  • miles
I'm having serious electrical problems with my 1997 Ford Expedition. During heavy rains the truck will not start, when I do get it running the dash lights flash off and on. The truck stops running in the middle of traffic. Clicking noises are coming from the dash, the overdrive light flashes off and on the doors want lock. I'm concerned for my families safety. A possibility of the truck catching on fire. Ford needs to do a recall on the vehicles.

- Moore, OK, USA

problem #31

Mar 012007

Expedition 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles


My 1997 Ford Expedition caught on fire in the parking structure at my office. The sprinkler system prevented the fire from spreading to the other cars. Vehicle was a total loss.

- Gardena, CA, USA

problem #30

Jan 012007


  • miles
My 1997 Ford Expedition has been having serious electrical problems. I have had the GEM mod replaced as well as the fuse box. It seems as though water is leaking into these parts from the windshield. I am still having these problems with a family of six, I am concerned with the prospects of an electrical fire or something else. We have had instances where the car lost power while on the highway, this could cause a serious accident. Please talk to Ford. This seems like a very common problem!

- Norwood , MA, USA

problem #29

Dec 212006


  • miles
I have a 1997 Ford Expedition which has had the following symptoms: The fan blower stays on while truck is off, the battery dies for no apparent reason after truck has sat unused for short periods, various lights on instrument panel come on and off while driving(including ABS, airbag, all 4WD related lights, low wash, check engine), overdrive light blinks, speedometer doesn't work, truck doesn't accelerate and shift properly, radio comes on when truck is off. Clicks and beeps can be heard sometimes when in use and off. The dealer said the GEM and fuse box were damaged by water leaking from windshield. They replaced parts(for $600 and told me that I had to go and get the windshield fixed. I asked how they knew the water was certainly coming from windshield, and they said because of location etc. And I asked them what will happen if it rains after I pick it up and before it gets looked at. They said I'd be fine if it's within a few days ("just don't wait a month"). well I picked it upon the evening, and made an appointment for the next day for windshield. It rained overnight, though I even covered the area as best I could. I woke up to the radio blaring from my truck. I turned the truck on, shut it back off, radio still played so I shut its power off. As I drove to work, some of the other things started to happen again as well. I am not happy that (a) I have had to pay for Ford's inadequate workmanship and (B) I now have to fight with them about what is going to happen now since the rain has already screwed it up again because they left it in my hands before the leak was fixed. That truck never should have left their garage until it was taken care of. I don't know why they couldn't do it themselves, but they could have at least had the glass company come and do it there. This clearly is a common problem with Expedition, and I think Ford should be forced to do something about it. Electrical malfunctions are not something to let.

- Waterford, PA, USA

problem #28

Mar 242006


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
: the contact stated the vehicle caught on fire while parked. The dealer and the manufacturer were contacted but would not investigate the cause of the problem to determine if it was caused by a recall or defect. Pictures of the incident were taken.

- Whitesville, KY, USA

problem #27

Feb 042006

Expedition 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,000 miles


97 Expedition that has multiple electrical problems, air bag light stays on, clicking under dash wet carpet on drivers side. Local Ford dealer tells me oh that's an easy fix, only $1200 to replace the generic electric module and remove and reinstall the windshield! went on to tell me they do this all the time on Expedition! I asked why and they told me that "the factory screwed up when the windshields were installed and they leak"! I thought that was why we had recalls! if this is the factories fault then why must I pay for it?

- Murfreesboro, TN, USA

problem #26

Jan 132006

Expedition 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 129,000 miles
I have experienced a problem with my 97 Ford Expedition not starting after sitting for longer than two days for over a year now. I have had the local Ford dealership attempt to find the draw keeping the vehicle for over a month total. When it rained the problem seemed to be worse. Eventually I was left with having to have a battery booster in the back and jump the car as it needed with no solution from the dealer. Today I went out to the car almost a year later of dealing with this and the car wouldn't start after less than 24 hours of not driving it. The car was not completely dead as there was clicking noises upon turning the ignition but did not turn over. Removed the keys from ignition and got out of car to get battery booster from the back and heard popping and static noise from passenger front speaker very loud. Again, keys were not even in the ignition. Noise continued to come from the speaker for over 30 min until I jumped the car. When started the clock and radio would not work and noise continued to come from the speaker, also noticed water leaking down passenger side handle located by the windshield. Drove immediately to garage specializing in electrical and was told of water leaking from windshield seal failure very common in this vehicle and position of fuse and GEM module allowing water to leak in and pool acting as a conductor resulting in components coming on and malfunctioning without vehicle on is very common. Resolution, replace windshield as seal needs to be corrected (approx. $280) and replace fuse and GEM module (approx. $600). I left the garage and called the local dealer and was told the same and service manager said with our recent rain of 25 days running here in wa they were seeing a lot of this and is common but there is no recall for this. After doing research online this evening I am shocked how many similar complaints I have found for this and a couple of other problems I have noticed.

- Olympia, WA, USA

problem #25

Jul 162005

Expedition 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,569 miles
Ford expidition caught fire this past Saturday on July 16, 2005. No keys were in igition, it had been sitting for about 5 minutes, got in and began to drive it, backed it up and smelled something funny, so left it there. The fire department had a hard time putting out the fire. They said fire was so bad they couldn't determine what started it or where it started from. Couldn't even tell there was an engine in the truck. It burnt the front of the vehicle. Contacted dealer, they said there was nothing they could do.. at this point have not contacted the manufacturer.

- Huntsville, AL, USA

problem #24

Jun 302005

Expedition 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,439 miles
Cruse controll brake switch burned up while attempting to back car out of the garage. When this switch burned up it caused the stop light fuse to also burn out and and this causes the shift leaver to lock in the park position. Now we have an electrical fire and can't get the car out of the garage. A good friend of mine has his own shop and he used to a chief mechcanic for Ford so I called him and he corected the problem. He gave me the parts that burned up and told me to call Ford because they had a recall out for this problem on thier 2000 & 2001 modles. My car is a 1997 and they said they could not help me. Any suggestions. P.S. I still have the parts from the car.

- Santa Fe, TX, USA

problem #23

May 292004


  • 90,000 miles
Ford Expedition caught on fire.** answer required***. the vehicle had been sitting for 6-8 hours before it caught on fire.

- Cypress, TX, USA

problem #22

Jun 192005

Expedition 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 119,000 miles
Consumer stated that since T she bought vehicle it had electrical problems. Dealer told consumer had consumer to take vehicle to a special shop, they would try to figure out the problem. Consumer said that within the first three months vehicle had two ignition switches installedt hat consumer did not have to pay for. Vehicle had several other electrical problems. Consumer said that without the key in ignition the windshield wipers /radio came on, and the air bag deployed. Sometimesm the windows would not role back up after being rolled down. Consumer arrived home after driving vehicle all day. Consumer parked and went inside the house. About five minutes later, found out that vehicle was on fire. Firemen stated they could not tell what caused the fire.

- Aurora, CO, USA

problem #21

Jun 072005

Expedition 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles
June 7, 2005, I picked up my son at school; we drove home and got out of the truck. We were in the house 3-4 minutes when I heard a very loud noise and then started to smell smoke. I looked outside and my 1997 Ford Expedition was engulfed in flames. I immediately called the fire department who arrived with the police department. The fire department said it was a fire that started under the hood and burnt the entire truck up.

- Roslindale, MA, USA

problem #20

Apr 292005

Expedition 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
1997 Ford Expedition caught on fire while parked. The consumer was informed that smoke was coming from the hood along with flames on the drivers side of the vehicle. The fire spread to the vehicle parked beside the consumers vehicle and damaged the rear driver side quarter panel of the other vehicle.

- Tulsa, OK, USA

problem #19

Oct 292004

Expedition 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,160 miles
My 97 Ford Expedition caught on fire while parked in home depot parking lot 10-29-05. The fire was electrical, and it started under the hood according to the insurance report.

- Lancaster, CA, USA

problem #18

Oct 152004

Expedition 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles
1997 Ford Expedition was parked in driveway. Under hood fire and smoke erupted. Cruise control disconnect switch had burst into flames and set brake fluid on fire. Significant damage. Parts replaced, old parts available.

- Powder Springs, GA, USA

Read the next 17 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?