pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
109,289 miles
Total Complaints:
12 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (5 reports)
  2. replace transmission (5 reports)
  3. replace it for $1600 its been two yrs and it happend again (2 reports)
1998 Ford Explorer transmission problems

transmission problem

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1998 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #12

Jun 132009

Explorer 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles


I am now educated from seeing other posts regarding their transmissions having issues.

I hoped there was a recall on fixing or replacing this awful issue, but I am unaware of one at this time.

I hope after I post this complaint that Ford does the right thing, and fixes or replaces my transmission.

My next vehicle will definitely be a Honda or Toyota!

- , Kokomo, IN, USA

problem #11

May 052007

Explorer GT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

with all the explorers that this happens to why isn't for recalling this problem???? I will never ever ever buy a ford again!!!!!

- , Colgate, WI, USA

problem #10

Nov 072011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,213 miles

My transmission started to slip almost a month ago into 2nd gear now it continues to slip in 2nd and hard shift into 3rd. I have been told that the transmission needs to be replaced.

- , Blackstone, VA, USA

problem #9

Feb 072010

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles


Well we too are a victim times 2 of the Ford phantom transmission scam!! Last season I wanted to buy our daughter something safe to migrate back and forth to college but could not afford a new Ford so they said we'll hook you up! We were charged way too much for a 98 Exploder but it was beautiful and had relatively low miles. I own a scan meter so I plugged it in right in front of the salesperson and boy did I get a funny look! The 98 with the 5R55E trans has a dip stick so of course I checked the level and sniffed the fluid and all seemed fine. A couple months later my daughter said there was an O/D light blinking so I took it back to the dealership and they just blew me off and said sorry AS IS!! The computer showed no codes so I reset the light myself and told my daughter to watch for it. All this time the fluid level was fine! Then we took it on a road trip and over 100 miles from home the trans just threw a fit and left us stranded. I trailered it home and did some research then had it inspected. They said it was a torque converter lock up solenoid so I purchased on for $100 less than Ford wanted to charge me and did the work myself. Later that week the light was back and the fluid was cooked so it is parked and I am still making payments. But wait it gets better!! We also have a 1999 Ranger which we purchased new and we seldom use it and it only has 80,000 miles on it but one of the same type transmissions. I hopped in it the other day and went to back out of the driveway and no reverse! All forward gears were fine and no codes but it has since dominoed to forward gears also. I meticulously maintained that truck and it still looks and smells new as it sits there next to the Exploder!! Now we have no vehicles that roll without Flintstone power and Ford just turned their head and said basically sucks to be you!! As for a class action suit I just read that on Wednesday the Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 against us ganging up on the big guys and decided we are going to have to go it alone as individual cases!! Well good luck out spending Corporate to make a difference!!

- , Beaverton, OR, US

problem #8

May 072010

Explorer 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 123,250 miles

the transmission is working very good but the lever does not go to the parking when i park the car. The car starts going in reverse ..Pls help me with the solution

- , Salmiyah, Hawally, Kuwait

problem #7

Oct 052009

Explorer 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

i'm just f*ckin pissed that i have to spend so damn much money on this car. I had transmission failure in my Explorer.

- , West Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #6

Jul 062009

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,000 miles


Like thousands of others, we were driving along and it wouldn't shift into 3rd gear. Then the overdrive light started blinking on and off. Took it in, they said it was the torque converter. Replaced it for 2000 dollars, 2 weeks later it would not shift out of third gear at all. Went back, dealer said it was a solenoid. Replaced solenoid for 1000 dollars, transmission now shifts unbearably rough, dealer said we need to replace transmission for 4000 dollars. All within 1 month.

- , Idaho Falls, ID, USA

problem #5

Apr 052006

Explorer Sport 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

I financed this car and after 5 years of payments the car gets all these problems. It all started when i first got it, when i would come to a stop it would clunk and jerk. Then a couple years later it started banging when it would shift. Later it would not engage into the gear i want it in eg: reverse, drive. Then sometimes when i would go to leave from a light it wouldn't go anywhere so i would have to put it in second. Now this just happened a couple days ago it wont go into reverse at all it just locks up like its in park. So i have to push it out of parking spots and i can drive away with it in Neutral, drive, and first doesn't work at all. If anyone has any ideas as to what it might be please email me at marcusdesilva@crawler.com. thanks

- , Commerce City, CO, USA

problem #4

Jul 222005

Explorer XLT 4.0L Ohc

  • Automatic transmission
  • 117,000 miles

I bought car at 117.000 miles, the tranny broke 119.520 cost 1600. and less then 2yrs later its starting to show problems, leaking and shifting again,

- , New Caney, TX, US

problem #3

Feb 132008

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

The irony is that it is a "replacement" under original warranty...I wonder if Rockville, MD, dealer ever actually replaced the defective tranny 4 years ago. BTW, it on occasion fails upon acceleration after braking...a slight problem if one is turning left! With a $3100 estimate to replace I'll have to junk it first.

- , Amery, WI, USA

problem #2

May 222007

(reported on)

Explorer Eddie Bauer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,000 miles

So... out of the blue my transmission no longer will shift into reverse. Instead it makes a horrible grinding sound. As of now it will still go forward but now putting it into park no longer keeps it from rolling. I called a transmission repair business that I trust and the cheapest I am going to get out of this is $2125.00.

- , Bangor, ME, US

problem #1

Dec 032006

(reported on)

Explorer V8 5.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,000 miles

It has a shifting problem from 1st to 2nd. I took the Explorer to a transmission repair shop and they drained the fluid and replaced the filter. I was told there was a significant amount of metal in the fluid and on the magnet. More than what should be considering the amount of miles on the vehicle. I was informed that a major expense was coming up in the future but without taking the transmission out and tearing down we don't know where the excessive wear would be coming from. Clutches, Torque Converter, Washers. ?

Anybody have this problem and what was it? How long did you have the problem before you needed to have it fixed. The new fluid and an additive has stopped the shift problem for now. The valve bodies are clean from the sh*t but for how long?

- , Sewell, NJ, USA

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