pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
7,980 miles
Total Complaints:
47 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (19 reports)
  2. replace throttle body (17 reports)
  3. replace electronic throttle body (8 reports)
  4. replacing throttle body (2 reports)
  5. change the smart data card (1 reports)
2016 Ford Explorer engine problems

engine problem

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2016 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #47

May 052017

Explorer XLT AWD V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 11,001 miles


BIG WRENCH WARNING. I'm adding to the other 46 complaints on this exact topic - time for a recall Ford. Driving on a busy highway, rush hour, Washington, DC and my vehicle decelerated with nothing from pressing the gas pedal while coming down a hill at about 55 mph. Thank God, there was an exit into a neighbor hood and an empty parking space immediately in the community. I had the BIG WRENCH and read my manual sign on my dash. Manual was home for safe keeping. I pull in and seem to have all power - the RPMs were jumping all over. Scared half to death I called my husband. Turned vehicle fully off, waited a minute turned it on and the same BIG WRENCH read my manual sign. Again turn it off, open gas door in case of a vapor lock. Wait a few minutes and try again. Now the CHECK ENGINE light is on but otherwise it seems OK. Now, how do I get home ?? I'm not going on a main highway so I get to the first exit and head for the back roads - Good darn thing I did. 5 minutes later the exact same deceleration happens with no gas pedal or speed. I coast to the shoulder and wait. Try again, and I'm off. 2 miles down the road - you guessed it.....I'm dead again. Now I'm really getting nervous because I have 1 major intersection that cannot be avoided to get home. Praying I'm not in a crash. On phone telling husband this thing has to get to the dealer. I made it home. Looked in manual for the BIG WRENCH...it's not in the manual. Waste of time. On to the internet and I find this group of not similar but identical problems. I literally broke down 3 times in less than 10 miles. Reading these complaints I'm not 100% confident the dealer will fix the vehicle properly. Scared because we are leaving in a week for a road trip family vacation. I researched and did all my homework before buying my Explorer, hoping it wasn't a big mistake I can't afford to take the loss of selling but I don't want to be in an accident. Taking car in tomorrow (Saturday) or (Monday) at the latest.

- , Lorton, US

problem #46

Mar 312017


  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles

I was driving to work going about 60 mph on a main road when all of a sudden my vehicle felt like it went out of gear and started slowing down. I could not accelerate at all. I was able to pull over. I parked for a few minutes with the car off and then after I turned it back on the check engine light came on and I could drive again. Not something you would expect from a brand new vehicle!

- , Ottawa, IL, US

problem #45

Aug 132016

Explorer XLT 4WD 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 11,000 miles

I guess I'll go ahead and add mine to the rapidly growing list of dissatisfied 2016 Ford Explorer owners, who have experienced the "Wrench of Death" along with the engine light, the loss of the gas pedal doing what should be the most basic function of a car, and the perplexion that goes along with being broken down on the side of the road in a BRAND NEW CAR.

I was driving along the highway, when I suddenly noticed that the car was slowing down, and the gas pedal did nothing. With the weight of the car being the only reason why I was still moving forward, I looked at the instrument panel, and observed a giant orange wrench with the words, "See Owners Manual".

Luckily, I was almost out in the sticks and was able to coast onto a side road and come to a stop. The engine was still running, the electronics continued to function, yet, I did notice that the tachometer was indicating RPMs which looked like the car was having a seizure. After letting off of the brake pedal, the car inched forward normally, as is the case with all cars equipped with automatic transmissions.

Because the display panel told me to, I opened my owners manual and attempted to locate information about this problem. Do not bother opening the owner's manual. There's nothing there for you.

I turned off the engine and turned it back on. Nothing changed. I turned off the engine again. I lit up a cigarette, systematically went down the entire list of the 4-letter words I learned from the Army, and finished smoking. Then, I turned the engine back on again, and to my surprise, the accelerator functioned normally. It takes me about 2 minutes to fully smoke a cigarette.

I then stopped what I was doing, and drove the car straight to the dealership where we had bought it. They were "kind enough" to drive me home. I say this, because even though Ford had screwed me royally, I was still at their mercy, and not vise versa. Unfortunately, however, Ford did not decide to grace me with a temporary replacement vehicle, despite the fact that they had an entire lot full of vehicles, just sitting there.

This is when I learned that these Ford mechanics don't work on Fridays. Everyone else on the planet does. But not them. Seemingly, Ford has chosen to smile upon them, and frown upon me. And so, our 2016 Ford Explorer will have sat in the parking spot where I left it for 3 1/2 days, before it is . . . explored.

We thought that as the car is sitting there, ashamed and lonely, this would be a great time to assess its value. To our dismay, after paying $42,000 of our hard-earned savings, now the car is worth roughly $24,000. This means that getting rid of this car, would be the equivalent of cheerfully walking into the Ford dealership, writing them a check for $18,000, for nothing, and then leaving.

We have decided that this is the "best" option, when considering that the alternative option, is the likelihood of dying in this car. Given that Ford is very well aware of this problem and has not issued a safety recall, I can only surmise that our deaths in a 2016 Ford Explorer is what it would take to convince them that a recall is necessary. (Editorial note: It won't be me or my family)

If you know anyone who owns a 2016 Ford Explorer, the best thing in the world that you can do for them, is to pour sugar into their gas tank. It very well could save their life/lives, and they will thank you for it later. Screw this car, screw this company, and screw the people who run it.

- , Sandpoint, ID, USA

problem #44

Aug 272016

Explorer Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,450 miles


I was driving down the highway when the explorer downshifted, the wrench light came on and lost the ability to accelerate. I was driving 65 mph and luckily there was an exit right away with a gas station. I pulled over, turned off car, got gas because I was almost empty and it seemed to be working ok. I drove a few miles down the road and the same thing happened. Took it to the shop and 2 days later they said it was the throttle body that needed to be replaced.

- , Mansfield, TX, US

problem #43

Aug 312016

Explorer XLS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,500 miles

My senior parents were driving their fairly new (purchased brand new 6 months ago) Explorer on I-66 at over 65MPH when the car decelerated to 10MPH! My mother was able to pull over to the shoulder, turned the engine off, restarted the engine, and were able to drive to the mall with no problems. On their way home the same thing happened again! They were driving on a major/busy road but were luckily able to pull into a commercial lot and get their Explorer towed to the dealer. The vehicle is there now. We've lost all confidence in Ford, more so now that we've read all of these complaints! How can they know that this is happening and not do anything about it!?! In my opinion this is just as bad as the Toyota issue with brakes!

- , South Riding, VA, USA

problem #42

Sep 172016

Explorer Limited

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,300 miles

gas pedal stopped working....check engine and wrench symbol

Driving 50 mph in 2016 Explorer (9 months old & 8000 miles) and all of a sudden gas pedal doesn't work, lose power. Seriously! Thankfully, I was able to glide the car off the road on a busy highway. The check engine light appeared and a wrench symbol (which basically means you have a problem). I pushed on the gas pedal and nothing. My care was paralyzed. What a helpless feeling. I had it towed to Ford on Saturday and had to wait until Monday. I was told that that on Ford's internal messaging system there was a known "service message" regarding this exact issue. When I pressed the service guy I spoke with, he said it was a known issue but was not a "recall". Really, seems pretty dangerous and a serious accident is going to occur. Imagine if I was merging or thought I could pull out and make a left turn and then nothing.....deadly consequences. I had my 9 year old in the back and thankfully we were safe. The service guy told me on Monday that my electronic throttle needed reprogrammed. Ok, seemed reasonable, Ford knows what they are doing and would never let me leave without resolving the problem. I then googled my scenario and was shocked at other customer experiences and how similar they were----EXACT same story.

But it gets better. I left the dealership on Monday, 9/19/16 and felt good. Ford knows what they are doing, right? On Friday, 4 days later, the EXACT same thing happened AGAIN. I was extremely lucky and in a park area at a stop sign. This time, I was able to drive the car and park it. The wrench symbol did come on but not the check engine light. So I had it towed...again and now had to rent a vehicle and wait until Monday. When I spoke with Ford Friday before they closed, they were Surprised this occurred. Obviously, their attempt to "reprogram" was futile and put my life and my family's at risk.

Needless to say they better be prepared for me on Monday, 9/26.

- , Bridgeville, PA, USA

problem #41

Oct 052016

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 19,425 miles


Driving home Wednesday evening 0ct 5 on interstate 29 approx 75 mph when my car jerked and the wrench light came on with "SEE MANUEL" and my car lost power. I pulled off on the shoulder and then tried to drive forward nothing, so I turned off the car and tried to restart. Car started now the check engine light is on, tried yo move forward nothing. Repeated this process 2 more times and on the third try the car did start to move so I continued to drive and limped home. The engine sounded rough and the car jerked once in a while. Took it into the Ford dealership in Fargo ND next day. They said the computer just had to be reprogrammed.

- , Grandin, ND, USA

problem #40

Oct 072016

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 19,525 miles

Oct 7th driving on my way to a wedding driving 60 mph when the car jerked and wrench light with "SEE MANUEL" comes on again! Just had the car in the dealership on the 5th for the same problem! I bought this vehicle brand new in December of last year because I need something I can depend on, I travel an hour to work each day and live where the climate can change drastically in an hour. Coming up on the winter months I don't need this to happen to me when it is 20 below zero with a wind chill of 30 below! This is not an inexpensive vehicle and I don't have the means to buy another one so someone better get it right. I called the dealership again and they are having me bring it back. But after looking at the Internet this seems to be a ongoing problem, maybe a recall needs to be done!

- , Grandin, ND, USA

problem #39

Oct 162016

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 9,000 miles

Bought this car February 2016. Suddenly the wrench light came up and was not able to accelerate. Turned off the car for 10 minutes and Turn it on again and the light was off. Will take the care to dealership today in order to be inspected. Very disappointed at the car as Paid so much money for a new car and this happens. Keep everyone posted on the outcomes.

- , Toronto, ON, Canada

problem #38

Sep 262016

Explorer XLY V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 9,000 miles

2016 ford explorer check engine light, wrench and air bag light came on all at once and I lost total power. had to pull over and re-start 5 times just to get the truck back home. Truck was towed to dealer and they are saying there was just a recall for a power control module. but from all the complaints I am reading it is the throttle body that needs replacing. this is the 2nd time this has happened to me and the first time they told me it was sensors that got wet.

- , farmingville, NY, USA

problem #37

Sep 162016

Explorer XLT 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,500 miles


My wife drove this 2016 Explorer for about 10 months and put only 5500 miles on it. A couple weeks ago, the vehicle lost power in the middle of a busy intersection. Luckily, she was able to pull to the side of the road without being clobbered by another car. The now infamous "wrench" light came on and the vehicle would only idle at about 2 mph. No response to the gas pedal at all. We had the vehicle towed to the Ford dealer. They told us it was a issue with the software that controls the electronic throttle. The dealer flashed some new control code and called it good ("16B32D Reprogram PCM using IDS release 102.02 or higher"). The vehicle has exhibited some strange quirks, like an erratic idle at stop lights, since getting the new software. Took it back to the dealer, but they insist it can take up to 500 miles before the computer learns our driving style again and that it will start performing normal sooner or later. My wife won't drive the vehicle anymore. I don't blame her. What if the vehicle loses power again turning left in front of a semi or trying to pass someone on a two lane road. I've been a Ford man my whole life, but I think that's about to change. Thinking hard about trading in the 2016 Explorer on a 2017 Four Runner, despite having to take a $12,000 bath on the Explorer.

- , Chandler, AZ, USA

problem #36

Sep 042016

Explorer 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,000 miles

6000 miles new car!!!! It lost power(cannot accelerate) two time in local driving(lucky..). The wrench light and air bag light is on. But after restart the car. Every thing is fine. We went to the dealer. It took two days to fix it. The solution is to replace the throttle body.

- , San Jose, CA, USA

problem #35

Sep 182016

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,400 miles

Nothing quite like driving home from Lowes on I-95 going 70MPH and having your new car JOLT and then lose power. The Wrench symbol appeared and said "Check Manual" and then all power was gone. The Airbag light also lit up. We pulled off into some gas station and restarted the vehicle a few times. Eventually, it allowed the power back on and we managed to drive it home. It was towed out of my driveway this morning to the dealership to be checked. They said they know of the issue and will get back to us with an estimated repair date. AND NOW... though making payments on a new car- i YET AGAIN do not have a car!! (This is the second issue with this vehicle)

The entire reason we purchased a new car was so that when traveling with our 18 month old we did not have these types of issues. It is completely unacceptable that you type the problem into google and it is a COMMON PROBLEM WITH THIS CAR? why are you selling these vehicles without fixing this problem? If it had been a busier time of day.. we would have easily been in an accident.... Glad Ford Motor Company is really concerned about the safety of their vehicles. We purchased based on safety ratings... perhaps whoever rates them needs to be on this website to see just how NOT SAFE this car really is. How am I supposed to put my baby in the backseat and know this wont occur again??

- , Savannah, GA, US

problem #34

Aug 122016

Explorer XLT 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,507 miles

It's just sad to say that Ford forgot to do some quality control. I was on vacation with my family while cruising along I-295 at 65 MPH when the dreaded wrench light showed up on my dash board and I could not accelerate. Good thing the cars behind me were quite far so I had time to pull over. turned off the engine and restarted the SUV and everything was normal again. We arrived at the hotel safely. the next morning on our way to the family gathering it happened again. luckily I was able to park the SUV. called the service tech from the dealer and explained the issue and without hesitation the service tech answered you must replace the throttle body. He even instructed me to drive up to the nearest Ford Dealer and they would change it immediately. however in VA and on a weekend that's not gonna happen.I called ford road side assistance and was told that the tow truck will arrive around 3pm. I guess the tow truck drivers watch was not set for DST because he came at 4pm and told me that he had just received the call 10 minutes ago. He also had the audacity to tell me that i'm not the only customer around and was hurrying to tow my SUV. now my SUV is in VA and I'm back in PA.Ford can not ship or tow my SUV from one dealer site to another. according to the roadside service I have to pay $460+ to have it towed. McCafferty Ford at Langhorne PA refuses to pay for the towing instead they want me to drive 3 and half hour to Battlefield Ford at Manassas VA to get my SUV. I spoke with Phil the Manager in Langhorne that if they stand behind their product and workmanship they should be able to drive my vehicle down from Manassas VA to Langhorne PA with no problem. again he refused to have my car be driven by one of his drivers. Now I have no car and no rental due to the fact that Phil was waiting for ford to get back to him.I thought he worked for McCafferty Ford? to say that I am frustrated with Ford is an understatement. My SUV is still in Battlefield Ford Manassas VA. I don't think i'm ever going to see it again.

- , Elkins Park, PA, USA

problem #33

Aug 122016

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,300 miles

Wife was on the highway on the way home at night when the same thing happened to everyone else. Luckily she didn't get rear ended from the sudden slow down on the highway. If this is a recurring problem (which it seems to be) not sure why more isn't being done to make owners more aware and to bring in to fix the problem.

- , Spring, TX, USA

problem #32

Jul 092016

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,500 miles

Same issue as I've been reading ---- this was really annoying considering the car was just built by the factory in December, 2015 (I received it 1st week in Jan 2016). Going along fine, then all of a sudden wrench light and engine light come on and we go into "limp home mode". Towed to dealer, they tell me 3 weeks due to part back order. Luckily, and I mean LUCKILY, they agreed to give me a loaner car --- evidently, Ford isn't obligated to do this. The good news, I got my car in 3 days because a shipment of parts came in to the local dealer. Wait it gets better....

My Mom & Dad have a 2016 Lincoln (MKZ) and it happened to them going 70 mph on I-95 driving home to Florida. While sitting in the waiting room, the same car gets towed in with the same exact problem. 3 cars I know about within the last 3 weeks. Better not happen to you on a Sunday in the middle of no-where away from home on a vacation or while travelling. One positive, Lincoln has a nice warranty -- they cover your costs (hotel, food, expenses).....

Those of us that have Ford warrantee, you are SOL.

How many more people need to get affected before Ford/Lincoln wises up and does a self-induced recall? Oh wait, we won't -- we need to save money. Let's just move our factories to Mexico! Maybe my last Ford.

- , East Meadow, NY, USA

problem #31

Jul 212016

Explorer XLT 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,000 miles

Driving my 2016 Ford Explorer with 10K miles on lightly travelled back roads (fortunately), when forward momentum suddenly and unexpectedly ceased. Engine seemed to still be running, but nothing happened when applying gas. Wrench indicator came on in display indicating to check owner's manual. Turned engine off and restarted, but vehicle still wouldn't move. Turned off and restarted once again (several cranks before it actually caught this time) and was able to drive home with the vehicle appearing to behave normally except for check engine indicator which was still illuminated. One other observation leading up to this event in the preceding couple of days and which occurred twice was that if I were stopped with my foot on the brake, the car would very subtly appear to want jerk forward - not enough to make me step harder on the brake, but it felt almost as if I got lightly bumped from the rear.

Update from Jul 23, 2016: Update 7/23/16: Problem was diagnosed as the Electronic throttle body as being defective and as similar to other complaints. Had that not been the diagnosis, I would have pushed for further analysis based on all of the other complaints with the same symptoms. Fortunately for me, my dealer service department (Wall's Ford in Salisbury, MA) had the part in stock, and my Explorer repaired that day. As of this update, vehicle has been performing normally.

- , Methuen, MA, US

problem #30

Jul 142016

Explorer Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,456 miles

Just bought a new 2016 Ford Explored Limited last March 2016. Today July 14, 2016 while I was driving with my wife and 2 sons on a 45 mile/hr busy road the engine just turned off and a wrench and air bag light appeared on the screen with a message to see owner's manual. The gas pedal would not work but the AC and radio was still on, it seemed like the car was on "neutral" mode, thankfully it was after rush hour so the traffic was light and I was able to steer the car to the middle center lane. Turned the car on and off maybe 3 times before it went away and we were able to drive the car. As soon as we got home, got online and saw all these posts about the same issue. Will call the dealership tomorrow, I don't trust driving on the highway and this happens. Hopefully they can shed some light as to what needs to be done, but by the recent posts here it seems like this is a major issue that Ford is dealing with. I just don't understand why they still sell these cars if they know there is an issue with the "powertrain".

- , Wildwood, MO, USA

problem #29

Jul 072016

Explorer 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,728 miles

click to see larger images

wrench light on

Driving in my community when the engine, suddenly, would no longer accelerate. A wrench icon appeared in the driver display and a pop-up was displayed which also featured a wrench and text to the effect of 'see owner's manual' and the engine light was on. According to the manual, the wrench icon demonstrated a 'power-train' issue. The vehicle had power, the engine never quit running, and all electronics stayed working normally, but the steer wheel become tighten and hard to turn and can apparently recognize the bigger noise of the engine. I have to park the road side and turn off the engine as the accelerator is not working, this really scared me. Fortunately, i am only 500 meters away to my home and I turned on the engine and drove very slowly to my home. The next day, it seems it is working normally, but the engine light is still on and I drive to the dealer (5km), but when I turn on the engine again, the light becomes off. I thought this issue was recovered by itself and i drove home.

After that, this issue happened again (3 times in one day). I have booked the appointment and will go to dealer to check and fix it.

The biggest problem is when the wrench icon appear, the accelerator is no longer working, it is very dangerous when driving in the busy highway. :( . Hope Ford can fix this permanently, as I am not confident with this car.

Update from Aug 26, 2016: This issue was fixed after replaced the throttle body. They told me it is replaced with an upgraded version.

But I cannot verify. One thing need to mention, one of my friends who purchased on the same day with me met the same issue recently.

- , Markham, ON, Canada

problem #28

Jun 262016

Explorer Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,000 miles

We were driving down a four lane highway at 60 mph when the car suddenly lost power and the wrench light came on. The engine did not shut down but would rough idle only. Fortunately there was very little traffic or there could have been a serious accident as I had to coast to the side of the road. This happened on a Sunday afternoon 5 miles out of town; no one at the Ford dealership to call. Had to have the car towed to the dealer as it was completely in shut down and would only rough idle; would not move under power at all.

I have owned this brand new vehicle just 4 months and already feel as though I own a junker! I have learned that this faulty throttle body is a known issue with Ford and I now feel deceived by Ford - they should not sell cars with known defects. We had just returned from a lengthy road trip and I shudder to think that this could easily have happened many miles away (it was bad enough happening close to home). If this had happened in heavy interstate traffic I expect we would have been in a serious wreck!

We had to wait over a week for the part to get shipped to my local dealer. This seems to confirm that the throttle body is a known issue with Ford since the part was on back order for so long. I have lost faith in what I previously thought was a good auto company.

- , York, SC, USA

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