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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
4,307 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.

2013 Ford Explorer engine problems

engine problem

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2013 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #13

Oct 042013


  • 20,200 miles


When accelerating, with engine rpms rising above 3500 RPM exhaust fumes begin to enter the cabin through the ac ducts. Odor is present regardless of ventilation mode (recirculation or fresh-air). All attempts at repair, including official tsb bulletin published by the Ford Motor Company (tsb 12-12-4) and inspection by field service engineer, by Ford dealership service center personnel have failed. Here is a part of a response from Ford to my service technician on 10/10/2013 真this concern is currently under investigation. When a resolution is available, the dealer will be notified with a tsb, ssm, fsa, or broadcast message." I think this problem exists in every Ford Explorer manufactured since 2011 to present but consumers either don真T know it is happening or they don真T know to take it to Ford. Others with the same complaint on this website: 2011-10545178, 10537052, 10485394, 2012- 10466807, 10458341, 2013 - 10548667, 10547404, 10545106, 10534074, 10531802, 10522939, 10511749, 10503135, 10497684, 10493493, 10472937, 2014 真 10536610 (so far). One case (10521718) even had to be taken to the hospital because of the carbon monoxide. Page 206 of my owners manual states 真warning: If you smell exhaust fumes inside your vehicle, have this checked immediately. Do not drive your vehicle if you smell exhaust fumes. Carbon monoxide is present in exhaust fumes. Take precautions to avoid its dangerous effects. Ford won真T do the right thing and buy this vehicle back from me and because I bought the car certified preowned from Ford, when it was only 6 months old and 16000 miles, I can真T lemon law the vehicle in fl. I have a dead vehicle that I can真T drive because I won真T risk mine or my family's health, so I真M at my wits end.

- Tallahassee, FL, USA

problem #12

Jun 032013


  • 65 miles
Under heavy acceleration exhaust fumes enter the cabin. This is well documented on the Ford Explorer forums. www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?T=323597 a recall is needed or they need to buy these back!

- Blaine, MN, USA

problem #11

Jun 162013


  • 1,800 miles
I was driving on a two lane road with a speed limit of 55mph. I was behind a slow moving vehicle and wanted to pass it. There was another vehicle approaching in the oncoming lane and I thought I had enough distance to pass. As I turned into the oncoming lane and began to accelerate to pass this vehicle, I heard a strange noise like a "poof" and my vehicle lost power and slowed. Fortunately, there was enough distance between me and the oncoming vehicle and the oncoming vehicle had a wide shoulder. After that, I noticed the vehicle seemed to have less power on acceleration. About two months later it started leaking oil on the left front side. It is a sport model.

- Forest Knolls, CA, USA

problem #10

Oct 032012

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that after starting the vehicle, there was a burning smell emerging from the vehicle on several occasions. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis but they were unable to duplicate the problem. The manufacturer was not notified. The approximate failure mileage was 10. Updted 09/30/13

- Lake Clacid, FL, USA

problem #9

Jul 192013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 9,500 miles
On a night with light rain, after traveling 1.5 hrs with cruise control on, I pulled off interstate exit to make a phone call. I did not turn engine off. After call I proceeded to get back on interstate, while merging back onto interstate I accelerated hard to attain merging speed, when I merged safely in front of semi the engine shook violently and lost power. To avoid being hit, I jerked vehicle into emergency lane. The check engine light was flashing and the car placed in limp mode. I turned the vehicle completely of and restarted the engine and every thing appeared to have returned to normal. I later read that night that the F150 with same engine was having similar problems. I took the vehicle to Ford the following Monday. The service advisor informed me that Ford has been having the same problem with my engine that is in the Ford F150 in humid areas. He stated that large amounts of condensation forms in the intercooler when driving for long periods without utilizing turbo, then next time you accelerate hard the turbos suck all the condensation into the engine causing a misfire and puts engine into limp mode. After a week of them contacting Ford engineers and running test, they told me they cannot repeat problem and the engine did not store any codes in the ECM from the problem. Ford also told the dealer that I'm the only person with a 2013 Explorer with the 3.5 ecoboost engine that has ever reported problem. Since then I have read about two lawsuits which have been filed against Ford involving the ecoboost engine and included the 2013 Ford Explorer Sport. Apparently this statement is not true. This is a very serious safety issue for me and my family. The Ford company is apparently denying the issue exist, leaving me to drive a vehicle that can potentially put my family others with the same vehicle in harms way. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- St. Johns, FL, USA

problem #8

Jul 092013


  • 9,200 miles
I started driving and engine started revving up, took foot out of gas pedal an vehicle continued revving up to 3,000 RPM in slow speed. Change transmission to "N" and vehicle continued at 3,000 RPM. Changed back to "D" and did not changed, once again change to "N" and back to drive and RPM came down.

- Carolina, PR, USA

problem #7

Dec 262012


  • 7,500 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that when driving at various speeds, contact in the vehicle would become dizzy and nauseous for unknown reasons. One passenger became violently ill and was transported to the emergency room for treatment. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnosis and the contact was informed that the seals would need to be replaced because the exhaust fumes were leaking into the air conditioning unit. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 7,500.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #6

Jun 092013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 5,000 miles
Taking a trip in my 2013 Ford Explorer Sport (Texas to Florida) with the 3.5 turbocharged engine in raining conditions and vehicle began to shake violently, shudder and stall when I attempted to accelerate. Would not drive properly, check engine light came on and vehicle had to coast off highway and stay in hotel until dealership opened next day. Loss of time and very dangerous.

- Crosby, TX, USA

problem #5

May 092013


  • 399 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that while driving 20 mph, the vehicle failed to accelerate. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnosis and the contact was informed that the intake hose from the turbo charger had become disconnected. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure and current mileage was 399.

- Wantagh, NY, USA

problem #4

Mar 042013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 600 miles
I drove my recently acquired and new Ford Explorer Sport for first time on the highway on March 4, 2013. When accelerating to pass a truck, I lost control of front end to point of swirling and near collision with the truck. I don't consider this a fluke as same happened a while later during same highway trip. I'm very familiar with high horsepower passenger vehicles and sports cars for that matter. I am also very familiar with higher and allowable speeds having driven and handled sport cars and passenger vehicles on german autobahns while living in europe. It is my experience and belief that the combination of characteristics (weight balancing in combination with significant horsepower, possibly large tire size, traction and four wheel/front wheel drive aspects, thrust etc.) make this vehicle, the Ford Explorer Sport, extremely dangerous on highway while accelerating at allowable speeds. A local dealerships' expert (read: Dealer is an independent contractor) in Indiana confirmed my observations and beliefs and used term "squirlyness" to describe vehicles' handling when accelerating at highway speeds. Ford indicates that vehicle operates as designed, I content the design is bad, causing this Ford Explorer Sport version to be very dangerous. In my mind it is entirely foreseeable that accidents will happen to unsuspecting drivers of this vehicle based on the vehicle characteristics. Obviously this is something that will not be admitted to by Ford due to pre-emptive liability assumption in case of accidents. I offered Ford to take this new vehicle back. Once again I understand that they would not as this would imply admittance of safety concerns regarding the Ford Explorer Sport version.

- Grand Rapids, MI, USA

problem #3

Feb 142013


  • 345 miles


This 2013 Explorer XLT 4WD with 345 miles on it and less than two weeks old experienced complete engine failure while being driven in a residential area at mid-day.

- Wichita, KS, USA

problem #2

Feb 012013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 1,023 miles
I just bought a 2013 Ford Explorer last week and I am having an issue with burnt oil smell getting inside the cabin even with A/C in recirculation mode. It is such a disappointment to pay over 40K for a brand new SUV and been dealing with such an issue. I have a newborn and I am afraid to take it with me in the Explorer because I guess it is harmful for anybody. First time I bought a Ford and I am not happy about my decision to switch brands. I took to the dealership and need to go back on Monday to do a system update but I don't think updating the software it's going to solve the problem. I hope someone from Ford can read this and pay attention to us because it's not healthy to be driving inhaling harmful fumes.

- Miramar, FL, USA

problem #1

Jul 202012

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 350 miles
When accelerating the vehicle quickly with the air conditioner on (does not matter if it's on fresh air intake or recirculating), there is a definite odor of gasoline exhaust in the cabin of the vehicle. The problem can be duplicated at any speed, from a dead stop or accelerating during a passing maneuver. The vehicle was taken to the local dealership and two technical bulletins were addressed (one for a vibration sound coming from under the hood which was repaired and the other for the exhaust odor in the cabin). Upon completion of the factory warrantied technical bulletins, the odor remained. Upon further review of the documentation, the wrong odor was addressed (radiator fluid, not gasoline exhaust). The odor is present regardless of burning 87 octane or E-85 fuel.

- Columbus, GA, USA

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