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:
101,300 miles
Total Complaints:
14 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (5 reports)
  2. rebuild or replace transmission (4 reports)
  3. brand new transmission (2 reports)
  4. replaced with used tranny (1 reports)
  5. trade this pos for a real suv (1 reports)
  6. valve body and servo update (1 reports)
2001 Ford Explorer transmission problems

transmission problem

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2001 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #14

Nov 032012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles


Transmission shifts hard and clunks. The estimate repair is around $ 3,400. Will never buy a Ford again.

- Paul W., Wellington, US

problem #13

Jul 302012

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

Don't understand how a nationwide company says they only cover up too 65,000 for warrenty repairs when they know that everyone's! investment in them goes to sh*t around 75,000 and they haven't recalled or helped pay for the transmission problems our nation is facing. One of these days I hope there's a huge law suit for when myself or anyone else gets jammmyyy sandwiched and gets really hurt or paralyzed because of the unexpected transmission slip and your stuck coming on or off an exit or turning on an intersection!

- Matthew S., Wall Township, NJ, USA

problem #12

Oct 122011

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 167,000 miles

I have owned my Explorer for 4 yrs I have a 5 yr. contract I only owe 800.00 on it. It never left me stranded so I loved it. These last couple months have been nothing but a pain in the ass I have put soo much money into trying to fix this problem the transmission has been giving me. first this guy said it was a gasket that needed to be replaced so I had him do the work. Well that turned out to be an expensive lesson cause not even a couple days later I wouldn't get reverse and it still slips. I don't want to pay this F'n explorer off wished I wouldn't have ever bought this junk!!!!! I feel Ford should recall these explorer's and help out the people who have spent their hard earned money after all they got Bail outs. I'm a single mom and this is really a very hard lesson for me to have to deal with soooo SAD & MAD What do I do? :(

- Ramona V., Arvada, CO, USA

problem #11

May 012010

Explorer Sport LS 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles


Seems like a very common problem. I suggest that nobody own these cars!!!

- bigjim1800, Buffalo, OH, USA

problem #10

Aug 222010

Explorer Sport LX 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 159,000 miles

When I am at a stop the vehicle acts as though it is going to stall, when I try to accelerate it sputters barely kreeps forward that all the sudden it will engage, but then won't shift until around 5000 RPM's and makes a very loud thudding noise. Then yesterday my check engine light when on and the code says, its a cylinder misfire. All the plugs were changed recently and it seems to be a way bigger issue than that. All of the mechanical problems I have had leading up until now seem to be related and I'm still not sure where the problem source truly lies. Is it in the cylinders, transmission, fuel system or all of the above.

- Rochelle D., Orangevale, CA, USA

problem #9

Jun 262009

Explorer Sport 2DR 4.0L Sohc

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,260 miles

Got my Ford Explorer Sport with 79,000 miles on it. Started having problems weeks after getting it (u-joints messed up, needed routers/brakes due to rust, etc.), through the whooping year I've owned it almost put $2,000 into it. Now about a week ago the transmission has started to slip, among this my whole fuel system needs to be replaced (apparently it is losing pressure and has caused the "Check Engine" light to come on). Ford's are just the crappiest cars made, I will never ever even think of getting such a piece of junk again. The whole thing has rusted out and just one thing after another is going. These vehicles are trash, I have dumped so much money into a losing cause because I thought I may have gotten lucky and gotten a decent Ford.

- suvrider101, Rhode Island, RI, USA

problem #8

May 242009

Explorer Limited V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles


My son was backing our of the garage and all of a sudden it stops going back the wheel burns rubber so he tried to shift to drive to park and it takes off at accelerated speed and goes into my neighbor's garage. it was stuck in gears and this is the second time it has happened. This is among other problems! I hate ford, this is why American made cars aren't bought the way they should be. Between the tires, paint, seats, steering shift, cruise control!!!! just crazy!

- Cherrie H., Cypress, TX, USA

problem #7

Sep 012008

Explorer XLT 4.0L Sohc

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,000 miles

So here I am, Christmas time, and the trans is starting to fail in my POS "Exploder". Not only that, but the transfer case has also failed (Borg-Warner 44-05) and I have no 4WD.

Great. I live in the mountains and it's snow season. Most of my friends have vehicles well in excess of 100k miles and they are running strong. I bought this crap bag brand new, thinking it would provide good service for 150k miles. Now I have to go out and buy a new vehicle. Ford can stick their vehicles right up their sorry ass. I will NEVER own another Ford.

- conan547, Florissant, CO, USA

problem #6

Sep 042008

Explorer Sport 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,800 miles

I bought my used '01Explorer Sport in 2002. It was fantastic. It Handled great, Braked on a dime, and Accelerated from a stop better than any automatic I've ever known, I Loved it. Until I took it to the Ford Dealer for it's 30K Service. Apart from the regular service I opted for the Transmission Flush, a $300+ addition. Since that day my Sport is a Dog to drive. The Engine revs up to a high level in just easy driving, it takes a quarter or half second to pull away from the stop lights, there is no acceleration. The Brakes are minimally functional, I am concerned when I drive it because I feel the brakes will fail entirely. Oh and the fuel mileage has drastically dropped, Before the SNAFUed Service I was getting 330mi to the tank, Now it's 250mi if I'm lucky. Are there any REAL Ford Techs out there? or all all of them like the ones who serviced my Explorer Sport?

- hr57, Hampton, VA, USA

problem #5

Feb 112008

Explorer Sport 4.0sohc

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles

My trans is slipping and requires an estimated $1800 to repair. I've pampered my Explorer, changed fluids regularly, etc. and feel that with the amount of transmission issues I've read online with Explorers, Ford should take the responsibility to replace all of the infected units before they go out of business. This was a $25,000 vehicle that I purchased BRAND NEW and--like I said--babied and took special care to maintain. Old Henry'd be rolling over in his grave if he knew the crap that Detroit was putting out, with his name on it.

- rockinroller, Oxford, MI, US

problem #4

Feb 012008

Explorer Sport 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,700 miles


I have a 2001 explorer sport. I had the same problem happen at about 117,000 km (70,00 miles). I found a GOOD shop. He was able to determine that it was the valve body and servo.. apparently there is a kit available for the repair. The repair cost about $650.00 cdn (including labour). any shop that tries to tell you your tranny is shot is full of it.

- Terry Q., Burlington, Ontario, Canada

problem #3

Oct 242007

(reported on)

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles

Bought my 2001 Explorer new and religiously followed all the maintenance guides. The trans started to slip at 58,000 miles. The O/D Off light comes on whenever it feels like it. I cannot shut off the O/D manually. Took it to my dealership, and all they want to do is replace the transmission with a factory rebuild for $3,000. AMMCO tells me that the MAX cost should be $2,300 to correct. Ford won't help me and my dealership won't even consider taking the trans apart. At 58,000 miles this should not happen. When it slips the engine revs and you have to let off on the gas until it finally shifts. When the Overdrive shuts off on its own then it simply takes forever to shift. Never hard falls into gear smooth, but takes forever.

- Ronald H., Scranton, PA, USA

problem #2

Jan 172007

(reported on)

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,000 miles

Took vehicle in for transmission service only to have the transmission disassembled and diagnosed as needing rebuilt. Seems that transmission has two pistons that are used for flow control and shifting. They are made of aluminum and ride in an aluminum sleeve.. Well after 90,000 miles fluid bypasses the pistons creating the problem. The fix is to sleeve the piston areas with a patent repair with a brass sleeve. This repair is better than new but expensive... I am still looking for a used transmission myself... good luck..

- ericjbennett, Orlando, FL, USA

problem #1

Nov 172006

(reported on)

Explorer Sport V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

We bought the truck used in 2004 and it ran fine. But after about a year at about 60,000 miles the transmission would rev high/jump into 3rd gear. The Overdrive light would come on and when we would restart the truck the light would be gone. We took the truck to a trannmission man and he suggested that we change the sensor box. We did and it went away... now a year later almost exactly it is starting to jump again. We are college students and I trusted that Ford would be a well made car that could get us through college... but now I am going to stick to foreign cars or do a shitload of research!

- Kimberly T., San Jose, CA, USA

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