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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
78,496 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.

2001 Ford Explorer Sport Trac drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2001 Ford Explorer Sport Trac Owner Comments

problem #6

Jun 262016

Explorer Sport Trac

  • 147,260 miles


I purchased a 2001 Ford Explorer Sport tract I didn't get to test drive it because there were other vehical surrounding it. When I finally got to drive my truck home I noticed the transmission had a severe issue. When I turned a corner my tires rubbed badly on some other part to the trucks parts and the driver seat has a medal rod that jabs me in the back that's coming thru the fabric now my battery has leaked acid every where in the battery compartment and surrounding areas.

- Surprise, AZ, USA

problem #5

Jul 152013

Explorer Sport Trac

  • miles
Vehicle started having a chatter under the hood. Pulled out on to the highway and the transmission started slipping and would not engage (very dangerous, was in the middle of the highway and couldn't move). Took to a mechanic and he told me the noise had something to do with the tensioners or something to that effect on the transmission. He said there was a recall for this in the past but not sure if the recall is still in effect. This dangerous problem needs to be fixed before someone gets injured or worse and Ford will be liable.

- Hartford, KY, USA

problem #4

May 092013

Explorer Sport Trac

  • 77,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford Explorer Sport Trac. The contact stated that while driving 50 mph, the transmission slipped. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection where they stated that the servos needed to be repaired. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 77,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Glenedenbeach, OR, USA

problem #3

Jan 022013

Explorer Sport Trac 6-cyl

  • 117,718 miles


My Ford Explorer Sport Trac with an automatic transmission has a common problem that has plagued many Explorer, Sport Trac's, and Ranger. A youtube video explains the problem, "uploaded on Dec 7, 2011 - Ford used the 5R55E in many rear and 4 wheel drive applications. It is a good transmission but is susceptible to the valve body gasket "blowing out." The symptom of this in our vehicle was that the transmission missed second gear under acceleration but found a higher gear when we let off the gas pedal." This happens to me daily, and is a traffic hazard as the vehicle is unable to accelerate as it should. Ford published a tsb(technical service bulletin) on 03-22-10 acknowledging this problem. It is a dangerous occurrence in most vehicles where the valve body separator plate does not work as it should. When I took my vehicle to the dealer, they did not acknowledge the problem but wanted to charge over $4,000 for a new transmission. This is clearly a design flaw and should be addressed to all owners. Please check all complaints regarding Ford's automatic transmissions, the 5R55E and help us owners get a reasonably priced correction, before accidents occur. Thank you.

- Pomona, CA, USA

problem #2

Nov 052012

Explorer Sport Trac

  • miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford Explorer Sport Trac. The contact stated that while driving, the transmission exhibited a loud squeaking sound. The vehicle then became resistant to acceleration attempts and would no longer move. The contact stated that the engine continued to operate but the vehicle would not shift into driver or reverse. The vehicle had not been taken to a dealer or mechanic for diagnosis. The failure and current mileages were unknown.

- Rocky Mount , VA, USA

problem #1

Jan 282012

Explorer Sport Trac 6-cyl

  • 129,001 miles
The rising price of gas discouraged me from using my Sport Trac (St) often, so it was garaged during the work week. On the weekends, I usually drove the St to run errands around town. On Jan 28, 2012, I drove less than a mile when my St began losing throttle response and an unfamiliar clattering can be heard generated in the engine bay. I quickly realized that this was not normal, so I proceeded to pull over. I then took the truck to a mechanic near my location. The mechanic after extensive diagnosis determined that the timing chain tensioner had failed, along with timing chain guides which shattered into multiple pieces (photos available). The timing chain and its components are suppose to last for a lifetime of the vehicle, and hence Ford provided no information or provision for its maintenance. The repair was expensive, because it required the removal of the engine which is based on the SOHC design having its right camshaft driven by a timing chain located behind the engine near the firewall. A recall of the timing chain guides and tensioner should be made because of the common problem this has been for this engine design, SOHC 4.0L after the removal of the engine and timing chain guide replacement, my vehicle began to experience transmission failure. The transmission registered an error on my dashboard, and after consultation with an expert, required a transmission rebuild. The cost of the engine and the transmission rebuild has been very expensive to say the least. The unpredictable nature of this failures would compromise safety during high speed operations. I hope NHTSA will review complaints regarding timing chain and transmission failures, which should reveal a pattern of design failures at Ford. Interestingly, Ford had issued a recall for the timing chain tensioners and engine removal to repair chain guides in the past.

- Fullerton, CA, USA

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