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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
125,034 miles
Total Complaints:
4 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (3 reports)
  2. replace engine (1 reports)
2001 Ford Explorer engine problems

engine problem

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2001 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #4

Nov 012015

Explorer XLS Sohc 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 152,236 miles


Bought our Explorer used in 2012 with 140,000 kms on it. The guy selling it was the original owner, but had to rebuild the tranny at 70,000 kms for over $3500 CAD. So he went and bought a Toyota instead.

Had DOZENS of issues with the idle air controller (see my other complaint).

Six months ago I brought it in for service and the mechanic noticed a rattling/ticking sound from the engine. He advised me to get rid of the vehicle ASAP. He said the timing chain tensioner was going.

I thought he was exaggerating since timing belts are normally $300-500 in my area and that wouldn't justify getting rid of the car.

Drove it for another few months and the sound gets louder. I called several repair shops in the area and they all quoted me 15 hours labour and $400 parts just to replace it. I was stunned. They explained the engine needs to be pulled as the timing chain assembly is inaccessible. Apparently Ford relocated it in an engine redesign to meet new EPA standards.

So now we are stuck with a vehicle that is worthless and will cost well over $2000 to fix properly. Instead we went to this site and picked up a used Toyota Sienna for less than that. That was my last Ford.

- , New Westminster, BC, Canada

problem #3

Apr 052012

Explorer Sport

  • Automatic transmission
  • 174,000 miles

Timing chain tensioner broke on my 2001 Ford Explorer Sport......replacement parts are 1200 bucks !..from what i have read it's a design flaw on Ford Motor.....i think they should "man" up and fix this at no charge !

- , Ninety Six, SC, USA

problem #2

Aug 242011

Explorer Sport XLT 4.0L V6 Sohc

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,000 miles

Considering Ford has a TSB "Technical Service Bulletin" (04-15-04) out on this issue. This is a major repair for a lot of folks!! Can you say RECALL! I don't mind paying for things but when its a known issue! Well FORD will not be getting anymore money from me. Do the right thing FORD and fix this issue.

TSB 04-15-4



FORD: 1999-2002 Explorer 2001-2002 Explorer Sport Trac, Explorer Sport, Ranger

MERCURY: 1999-2002 Mountaineer

This article supersedes TSB 02-08-01 to update part numbers and add a labor operation for vehicles with auxiliary air conditioning.


Some vehicles equipped with the 4.0 SOHC (single over-head cam) engine may exhibit a primary timing chain rattle noise. The noise is heard during hot and cold engine operation (but mainly heard on cold engines) under acceleration, typically at 2400-2500 RPM. To verify concern, accelerate in 2nd gear between 2000 and 3000 RPM and listen for rattle noise that sounds similar to spark knock. This may be caused by the primary timing chain tensioner system.


Replace the Primary Timing Chain Tensioner, Chain Guide, Jackshaft and Crankshaft Sprockets with a Primary Timing Chain Tensioner Kit. The Kit includes an improved Primary Chain Tensioner, as well as updated Primary Chain Guide, Primary Jackshaft, and Crankshaft Sprockets. Required fasteners, Primary Timing Chain, and Front Cover Gaskets are also included. Refer to the following Service Procedure for details.


Verify the condition. Obtain the correct Primary Timing Chain Tensioner Kit and follow the instruction sheet supplied with the Kit.

Use Kit 2U3Z-6D256-CA (balance shaft engines)


^ 1999-2001 4X4 Explorer/Mountaineer

^ 2001-2002 4X4 Sport/Sport Trac

^ ALL 2002 Explorer/Mountaineer, except engine codes 2G-960-AA and 2G-964-AA.

Use Kit P/N 2U3Z-6D256-DA (non balance shaft engines) for:

^ 1999-2001 4X2 Explorer/Mountaineer

^ 2001-2002 4X2 Sport/Sport Trac

^ 2002 MY Explorer/Mountaineer with engine codes 2G-960-AA and 2G-964-AA

^ ALL 2001-2002 Ranger

- , West Chester, PA, US

problem #1

Mar 022009

Explorer Sport LS 4.0L Sohc V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,900 miles

Ford dealer repair cost was $2510.00. Pulled motor replaced front/rear tensioners,cam gears and guides. , Stay away from this motor. Buy Imports!

- , Elmhurst, IL, USA

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