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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 20
Injuries / Deaths:
6 / 0
Average Mileage:
75,663 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.

1998 Ford Explorer electrical problems

electrical problem

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1998 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #13

Sep 132004

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,000 miles


Hard to get vehicle out of park into drive for several days prior to the fire. About 2 hours after the vehicle had been parked, and engine turned off, a fire started under the hood, and destroyed the vehicle.

- Katy, TX, USA

problem #12

Apr 172005

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles
Vehicle was parked for an hour or more when it caught fire under the hood on the driver side. The local fire department arrived to extinguish the fire. The cause of the fire was not determined at this time. The manufacturer was notified.

- South Windsor, CT, USA

problem #11

Mar 072005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 116,000 miles
After vehicle was parked for four hours a fire started under the hood. The fire was put out. Dealership was notified, but did not resolve the problem.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #10

Nov 092004

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 107,000 miles


The consumer parked the vehicle at her house for at least 7 hours. Then, vehicle caught on fire. The fire department was contacted, and they indicated that the cause of the fire was possibly electrical. Also, consumer contacted the manufacturer, who was no help at all. The vehicle was totaled.

- Melbourne, FL, USA

problem #9

Jul 142004

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles
Since purchasing a used 1998 Ford Explorer I have been blessed with nothing but problems with it. 6 months after purchasing the vehicle my wheel bearings went out and damaged the spindle. This was a $500 expense as the spindle was a dealer part. When I purchased it there were 26000 miles on it...there were about 36000 when the bearings went out...just as the warranty expired. Then, about a year later, the upper air intake manifold got a hole burned in it. Again, Ford couldn't offer me any kind of help and said it was a $800-1000 repair. On a side note, this type of problem was a known issue by Ford. In fact, recalls were made by Ford to replace the intakes free of charge to fleets but not to the general public. Just recently my freeze plugs rusted through and caused my car to overheat. This has been quoted by Ford as a $1300 repair. I called Ford to see about some sort of goodwill warranty and of course anything with goodwill in the equation is definitely something Ford will not do. I currently have 2 years left on the loan for a piece of crap car that isn't even worth half of what I still owe on it. I am really thinking of taking it back to the dealer and parking right in front of the entry way and taking the keys with me and telling them to stick it up their rears. Ford makes the whole car industry look really bad and in no way would I ever buy another Ford. Please help us consumers out and make the game fair between the auto industry and consumers...we are getting ripped off left and right while they keep getting richer and richer.

- Schertz, TX, USA

problem #8

Dec 232003

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,000 miles
While driving at night the interior and exterior lighting shut off which caused the driver to lose control of the vehicle. The rear end of the vehicle began to fish-tail and the vehicle rolled over twice. All systems including the antilock brakes failed. The accident was a result of multiple system failures.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #7

Sep 222003


  • miles


1998 Ford Explorer, we have had problems at different times getting the driver side door to open after the car had been unlocked. This happened several times. This might become a problem if consumer was trying to get out from the vehicle in case of an emergency.

- Saint Louis, MO, USA

problem #6

Jul 022003

Explorer 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles
Right turn signal periodically sticks "on" (not flashing) when commanded and sometimes comes "on" (not flashing) when the ignition is started. If left "ono" (not flashing) for more than 30-45 seconds, smoke comes out of the steering column. The smoke stops as soon as the light goes off.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #5

Aug 222003

Explorer 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
1998 Ford Explorer eddie bauer model, caught on fire while parked in my garage at 4:00 am. Vehicle had not been driven since 5:30 pm previous evening. We were alerted by a smoke detector. Vehicle was total loss, garage & attic above garage badly damaged resulting in complete loss of our personal property stored there. Fire department report states that they think the fire started with the battery, which was original to the vehicle.

- Warner Robins, GA, USA

problem #4

Apr 152001

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
We have a 1998 Ford Explorer, we have had problems at different times getting the trunk open after the car has been unlocked. This has happened several times and one time we worked on it for over an hour before getting it unlocked. This might become a problem if you were trying to get something or someone out of the back of the vehicle in case of an emergency.

- Eureka Springs, , AR, USA

problem #3

Feb 232003

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,884 miles


I was driving while towing a trailer and headlights, parking lights, and fog lights went out and smoke came out of the steering column. After cooling off, I drove the rest of the way holding the dimmer switch back towards me for 2-and-A-half hours.

- Centennial, CO, USA

problem #2

Feb 212000


  • miles
The vehicle stalled while making a left turn due to electrical system shut down resulting in accident.

- Royal Palm Beach, FL, USA

problem #1

Jul 231998


  • miles
Consumer's daughter and friend had an accident because truck stalled out. Consumer thinks it was an electrical problem. Truck has been in shop 8 times.

- West Orange, NJ, USA

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