Notes: How can we give the 2001 model year a "seal of pretty good" when it has some problems with a slipping transmission and a known problem with the speed activation control switch? Because it's not the 2002. That's how.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
68,581 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2001 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #14

Apr 202015

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 188,093 miles


I was sitting in a restaurant drive thru when the car turned off. I turned the car back on & inched a bit forward in line. Moments after that while in drive, but not moving, I heard a loud pop. After that, I saw flames shooting towards the front windshield coming from under the hood on my side. I put the car in park, turned off the car and took the key out of the ignition and fled. The restaurant workers came to my aid and put the fire out before it spread. When I went back to say thank you, they told me that they heard a second pop before they put out the fire. I have reported this to Ford headquarters. They checked my VIN and told me that the vehicle was under recall for a defect that causes fires. I took the car to a Ford dealership a couple months prior to this incident and they did not tell me anything about a recall on the car. Also, the car oil was last changed 3/5/2015 and was below the mileage for another oil change, so I am so confused as to why this happened.

- Decatur, GA, USA

problem #13

Aug 052012


  • miles
Cpsc#I12A0111A. 2001 Ford Explorer. Consumer stated that a day after she brought the car it broke down. The consumer stated there was a problem with the engine, as well as a hole in gas tank, which had rusted out, the bearings needed to be replaced, the tire were dry rotted, as they kept going flat, the driver's door did not lock, the rear doors did not open from the inside, the rear driver's door did not open at all, the outside handle was broke, the rear hatch would not close, and most of the time it had to be slammed shut.

- Nutter Fort, WV, USA

problem #12

Aug 132011


  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford Explorer. While the vehicle was stopped, the contact noticed smoke coming from under the vehicle. The vehicle was destroyed as a result of the fire. There was not a police or fire report filed. The dealer was not notified of the failure since the vehicle was purchased from a private seller. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure however, did not offer any assistance. The current and failure mileages were 150,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Strongsville, OH, USA

problem #11

Apr 302010

Explorer 8-cyl

  • 91,000 miles


Ford Explorer 2001, V8 5.0L engine. The original manufacturer spark plugs had rusted in the iron block and metal ring separated from the ceramic part when I try to remove them. A broken threaded part remained in the engine block. It happened on the first three tried. On fist two I was able to use a remover to extract the left over part, on the third one, the threader broke in the head. I had to take the car to a mechanic shop, pull both cylinder heads out and replace the rest of the spark plugs. Ports needed to have inserts installed. Defect is due to the design of the spark plug with short thread followed by a cylindrical part that accumulates moisture and rust.

- Newport News, VA, USA

problem #10

Feb 202010

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 104,000 miles
As with so many Explorer I have read about, my O/D light comes on and flashes. I lose all power during initial acceleration and then the truck shoots off like a rocket. If I turn the ignition off, the light resets and the vehicle is ok for a while until the light comes on again. I had the codes read and it came up a solenoid problem. I had them replaced and ten miles from the lot, the light came on again. I have read that this is a known issue from Ford, but they have yet to act on this issue.

- Elizabethtown, KY, USA

problem #9

Mar 102009


  • 146,544 miles
2001 Ford Explorer timing chain rattle and failure. On 4.0L SOHC. There are many people with this problem on forums. Ford needs to have a recall of this potentially dangerous motor issue or reimburse people that need to have this repaired.

- Indian Harbour Beach, FL, USA

problem #8

Jun 102008


  • 110,000 miles


Wife parked Explorer in garage, 20 min later heard a loud noise then noticed the vehicle was engulfed in flames. Luckily, we were able to save our home and everyone is alright. Car is completely totaled and our garage is a disaster.

- Smiths, AL, USA

problem #7

Dec 282003

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
Vehicle began stalling when it was around 30 degrees or lower in the winter and would have to restart the vehicle 3 or 4 times to get it to stay started, now vehicle does this every morning and even when its warm out. Took vehicle to dealer, dealer put seal on intake platton. Vehicle does it every time you start it now.

- Corbin, KY, USA

problem #6

Nov 012004

Explorer 6-cyl

  • miles
Driver seat recliner bolt, the seat back/recline/forward broke, replaced several times. The oil filter had come with a hole too large, the driver's side seat handle broke, the tires blewout and caused an accident that totaled the vehicle.

- Palestine, AR, USA

problem #5

Nov 212002

Explorer 6-cyl

  • miles
There were repeated problems with the idle air control motor on 2001 Ford Explorer. Upon starting the vehicle, the engine immediately stalled.

- Pompton Plains, NJ, USA

problem #4

Oct 152003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,500 miles


I purchased this car on October 8,2003. Three days after I bought it the check engine light came on. I brought the car back four times back to back. The first time they said nothing was wrong. The second and third time the same thing. On the fourth attempt, they had me take it to one of "their" mechanics. He said it was a bad switch in the system. Not even a whole week later, the check guage light came on. The car lot where I bought it from said they were not going to look at my car because out of the kindness of their heart they've already looked at it. So I took it to a Ford dealership, they fixed it and said it was a problem with transmission, and the steering wheel. They car lot said it was not their problem. I had to pay out of my pocket for some problems that are still under warranty. Then the first time the check engine light came on I later found out that a sales person who was not certified mechanic, tried to fix the car when they said they were sending it to a mechanic. I'm still having problems and it seems like there just getting worse!

- Inglewood, CA, USA

problem #3

Jun 202003


  • miles
While driving the engine light was flashing, suddenly the vehicle lost power. Dealer stated, spring broke over the third valve. Consumer indicated that the vehicle was not any longer under warranty so she had to pay.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #2

Jan 222003

Explorer 4WD

  • 29,000 miles
While driving and without warning timing chain was making a lot of noise. Dealer was notified and repaired the problem. Vehicle still experienced problems.

- Westminster, CA, USA

problem #1

Mar 052002


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Temperature indicator light flashed, afterwards engine stalled. Dealer has replaced thermostat.*akthe service engine light illuminated, vehicle started to smoke while in motion at a speed of 65 mph. Vehicle was taken to dealer where he was informed he had a blown head gasket. Consumers insurance company did a test where it was determined out that a faulty thermostat was the cause.

- Gahanna, OH, USA

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