hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
140,000 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 steering problems

steering problem

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1998 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #1

Feb 222007

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles


On 2/22/07 I was driving to work in my 1998 Ford Explorer XLT 4dr. I had just come off the NJ turnpike and was driving through union city at 6:45 in the morning when I stopped at a red light. When the light turned green I accelerated and attempted to turn the vehicle to the left to follow the road. To my shock and horror the steering wheel spun freely without changing the direction of my vehicle. I had absolutely no steering with barely any resistance on the steering wheel itself. My vehicle went straight across the road; I stopped the vehicle up on a sidewalk just before a building. Thank god there was no one walking there at that early hour. After I managed to compose myself I tried turning the wheel and found that it would just continue to spin freely either left or right, with nothing stopping it. If I turned the wheel hard and let go the steering wheel would spin completely around 5 or 6 times before coming to a stop. I called the union city police and told them what occurred and that the car was up on a sidewalk with no way to steer it. They told me to call aaa and sent a car by. Aaa came with a flat bed and after a long time managed to get the vehicle off the curb and on the truck. The driver had a very difficult time because there was no way to steer the vehicle. I accompanied my vehicle as it was towed to my local repair station 30 miles away. The station found that inside the drivers compartment the steering column is two separate shafts that are held together by a single bolt ( no nut ). the bolt had backed out of the connection and the shafts had become separated. The mechanic found the bolt under the driver's seat. The mechanic told me that once the shafts became separated there was no way to steer the vehicle. He expressed great concern that the bolt did not have a nut or some kind of pin to keep it from falling out. The mechanic put some 'thread locker' on the bolt and put it back in the steering shaft, which fixed the problem.

- Sewaren, NJ, USA

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