Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
150,500 miles
Total Complaints:
4 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replacement (2 reports)
  2. not sure (1 reports)
  3. replaced engine (1 reports)
1997 Ford Explorer engine problems

engine problem

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1997 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #4

Mar 302013

Explorer XL 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 155,000 miles


My experience with this crap of car is horrible.. Not only am I having issues with the fuel system I have now been informed of a 3500.00 fix with the tensioner and timing chain.. Its been months since I have driven the vehicle I'm a single mother barely able to maintain a stable environment for myself and son.. And honestly doesn't have the money nor the ability to have someone fix this issue .

- , Clearlake, CA, USA

problem #3

Oct 152010

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 135,000 miles

Found On Road Dead, F*#ked Over Reject from Detroit, Foolish Or Really Dumb (for buying one), Failed On Race Day.......they all spell FORD...FORD backward is Dumbshit Returns On Foot!!!! I just spent $1,600 for tune up,oil change, smog adjustment(oxy sensor/plugs/wires/fuel filter/etc.) new shocks,tires, the list goes on.....2 weeks later the timing chain tensioner/guide takes a dump....mechanic says $3000 to fix or $5000 for new engine.......I don't think so...I'm buying a CHEVY or a dodge or a nissan or a hyundai or a kia or anything but a ford...........................anybody wanna buy my exploder????? CHEAP!!!!!

- , Bellevue, WA, USA

problem #2

Oct 192006

Explorer XLT V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 132,000 miles

timing chain snapped moments after starting the vehicle and pulling up to a stop light/intersection - lots of traffic and headaches from not being able to immediately move the vehicle. Tow truck was helpful. Tho, 3 plus weeks to get an engine to replace from another mechanic who said its been a common issue with that year of explorer... dealership said the same thing... difficult to tell if the pistons or anything were damaged w/o potentially wasting money on an engine that would cost more to fix than replace???

- , Parsons, KS, USA

problem #1

Nov 152010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 180,000 miles

timing chain tensioner (jackshaft) broke front and rear. have to pull motor to replace back chain. parts alone are $350.00 and the time so far has been 4 weeks. have to have special tools to reset timing, there are no timing marks and hoping there is no motor damage (pistons or valves). The original tensioners are plastic the upgraded ones are metal. Very Poor Design and very costly. Ford needs to recall and repair.

- , Owensboro, KY, USA

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