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:
118,758 miles
Total Complaints:
3 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace transfer case (2 reports)
  2. not sure (1 reports)
1997 Ford Explorer transmission problems

transmission problem

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1997 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #3

Jan 062010

Explorer XLT 4.0L Sohc

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles


This is my second Explorer. The first was a 96' Sport. The only problem I ever had with it was the clutch going out(Manual Transmission) after about 120,000 miles. Any way, my transfer case started making noise at about 136,000 miles after taking it on a mellow 4wheel drive trail. I thought it was the transmission and was afraid to take it to the shop and get ripped off. I put it off for a few months just waiting for my tranny to blowup or something, but it never did. I found a good mechanic and he checked it out and told me it was the T-case. He rebuilt it for $800 and flushed my tranny. I'm pickin it up today. I really shouldn't complain I guess. 143,000 miles and this is my only problem?

- , Greeley, CO, USA

problem #2

Jun 062009

Explorer Eddy Bauer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 124,274 miles

Every time I let off the gas pedal the damn thing lets out a wicked bastard of a noise!! I was just wondering if anyone could help me find out, or point me in the right direction?? Is there a clutch pack inside the transfer case??

- , Port Sydney, Ontario, Canada

problem #1

Aug 302007

(reported on)

Explorer Sport

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles

On my way moving to Texas when I heard somewhat of a spinning noise from underneath my Explorer that would not stop. Long story short... after 8 hours and 3 mechanics it was determined that it was the transfer case. And since it was the transfer case... the transmission was probably damaged as well. Too much for me to repair so hopefully will part the car out. I now drive a Toyota Tercel (stinks being in Texas without a truck, but I am truly thankful to have a car) that will hopefully last me quite a while.

- , Cincinnati, OH, USA

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