definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
42,602 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.

2012 Ford Explorer engine problems

engine problem

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2012 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #21

Jul 262015


  • 46,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Explorer. While driving approximately 75 mph, a wrench warning indicator illuminated. The vehicle lost power and decelerated to 2 mph. The contact mentioned that a roaring noise emitted from the engine but was able to merge the vehicle to the side of the road. Shortly after, the vehicle restarted and resumed normal operation. Days later, the failure recurred and the vehicle was taken to a dealer. The technician was unable to replicate the failure. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 46,000.

- Fountain Inn, SC, USA

problem #20

Jul 202015


  • 53,000 miles
Power cut off. (golden wrench of I dont know what's wrong came on) on 4 lane had to pull over to shoulder of road. Cut off engine, restart, no light drove to Ford shop Monday and left car. Shop to check out and get back with me. Friday had to call and see if any news of whats wrong. Told after 3 hr runaround, needs battery and throttle body $ $900 +- out of warranty consumer satisfaction program 13N03

- Converse, LA, USA

problem #19

Jul 112015


  • 70,500 miles
While driving my for 2012 Ford Explorer ecoboost 2.0L, accelerating at approx 55mph up a hill, I lost power on several occasions starting on July 11th. I had to pull over and drive 10mph with hazards on. Thankfully was able to pull over and not on the freeway. My Explorer has been at the Ford dealership now for three days and they still do not know what is wrong with it, and not able to fix it. I'm already going to have to pay 600 in labor so far and over a 100 for a rental and of course it's not under warranty. I beleive this is a huge safety issue, since you loose all power. You could end up in a terrible accident if this happens on the freeway.

- Canyon Lake, CA, USA

problem #18

Dec 152014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 37,000 miles


I was driving back from the mall on a single lane highway at 55 mph with the whole family. All of the sudden the vehicle just quit. I tried to restart the vehicle while it was gliding without power, but it would not start. I had to pull over to the side of the road until the car stopped by itself. While the car was gliding to a stop, there was no steering brakes or anything available, since the engine had cut off automatically. Luckily I did not get hit by anyone. I finally pulled over, restarted the car and drove again. In a couple of minutes the car stalled again with no controls. This happened about 4 times within a space of 15 miles. I took it to the Ford dealership the next day and had to spend $1000 fixing it, which they blamed on the throttle activation or body. This could have resulted in a fatal situation, especially because the vehicle had no controls when it stalled. I believe there has been the same issue with other Ford and Lincoln vehicles on the web. This should be considered a serious safety issue, which should be fixed as soon as possible. This could happen again to someone and result in serious injury. I feel like Ford should be responsible for the fix to ensure public safety.

- Katy, TX, USA

problem #17

Nov 292014

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
While I was driving my 2012 Ford Explorer XLT, it lost all power for the 4th time. When I pressed the throttle there was no response. Indicator lights said AWD off and displayed a wrench icon. I coasted to the side of the road. When this happened the first three times I turned the car off, restarted it and all was fine for a few minutes, before this happened again. This is quite a dangerous situation to be in. I have also seen several complaints of the same problem from several other Ford and Lincoln owners. I believe this is a serious safety issue, since stalling in the middle of anywhere is not safe and can lead to accidents without warning. Also my check engine light is now light and I will be taking it to the Ford dealer to get it fixed. It is going to cost me an arm and leg, but hopefully it ends up being a safety recall and Ford reimburses down the line.

- Katy, TX, USA

problem #16

Jan 062012


  • miles
After a month of owning the 2012 Ford Explorer we noticed a very foul exhaust smell from inside the cabin of the Explorer. We would smell the odor under acceleration, especially when rpms reached 3,000 plus. This particular odor smell under the above conditions have been observed ever since. We did not think anything of the smell until we began researching it recently and came across several sources indicating this could be harmful to our health.

- Derby, KS, USA

problem #15

Sep 272014


  • 47,000 miles


The throttle box has gone bad. The car stalls randomly when taking off from a start and requires a new throttle body at only 47K miles. This is part of the powertrain, but not covered by the warranty. Ford had lots of problems with throttle bodies in earlier models and it seems they haven't fixed it yet.

- Round Rock, TX, USA

problem #14

Oct 032014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 34,000 miles
I was driving approx. 35mph and all of a sudden the wrench light on the engine came on I lost all power to the accelerator. I had to coast to stop, turn off the vehicle, start it back up and proceed. It has happened 4 more times since the original date. One of those times was when I was crossing an intersection and was almost broadsided. This is very dangerous and is happening with no warning or pattern. I have looked online and it seems to have happened with many Ford Explorer owners. I am reading it has to do with the powertrain control module.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #13

Aug 012014

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 48,000 miles
My car is less than 3 years old. At the time of the first incident, I was driving about 25 mph and my car just suddenly stalled. I saw an "AWD off" message on my dash. I tried to accelerate to pull over to the side of the road, and there was no response to the foot peddle. I hit the brakes and killed the engine. I was able to restart the car and continue on to work. I just assumed that I had someone hit the gear into that mode. But it happened a 2nd and then a 3rd time that same week. I brought the car in to the dealership around the middle of August. Before I brought the car, I searched the internet for other related complaints from Ford owners. I found a site at www.cargurus.com and found out that there are many other Ford owners with the same complaint. One owner said that his dealership replaced the "throttle body assembly" and he has never had that problem again. I brought this information to my dealership and I paid them $99 for this service call. They were not able to find out what was wrong, but they did do some sort of service notice that I had not yet done on my car. They hoped it would take care of the problem and it did for about a month. But this week, it happened 5 more times. Yesterday was the first time that it happened twice within a few minutes. This time the check engine light came on. I have the car at the dealership right now and I am hoping that they will find the throttle body assembly is the issue. If not, then I am concerned that this will happen again and that I may be rear ended on the interstate while I am trying to coast to the side of the road. Ford must know that this is a problem. There are too many complaints about the "AWD off" error code. I do not intend to pay for this repair!! my car is out of warranty now. I don't think that I should be paying for any car/engine repairs on such a young vehicle.

- Ponchatoula, LA, USA

problem #12

Sep 202014


  • 68,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that the wrench warning lamp illuminated and the vehicle suddenly decelerated. The contact depressed accelerator pedal repeatedly but the vehicle failed to accelerate. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for inspection, diagnosis and repair. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 68,000.

- Hampton, AR, USA

problem #11

Aug 212014


  • 45,322 miles


While driving at a constant speed of aprox. 35 mph on a city street, the vehicle suddenly and dramatically lost speed. The accelerator pedal / motor speed ceased responding and the engine started to run very roughly. The car went into "idle" and I was forced to stop in the middle of the road. The event was completely unexpected. I had no warning and not enough power to get off the road. An orange "wrench" warning light appeared on the dashboard. I turned off the vehicle and was able to restart with normal operation. I immediately had the car towed to the dealership service department where they replaced the left valve cover. I drove the car with no problems until 14 days later when the same problem re-occurred. This sudden and unexpected loss of vehicle control seems to be a significant safety concern. God help me if this happens while I'm on the freeway...

- Warner Robins, GA, USA

problem #10

Jan 102013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 6,000 miles
I am experiencing an odor of carbon monoxide inside the car. I live in el salvador central America and have found in the internet that there is a recall for this problem the Agency in my country does not responsabilize on this I have small children and we cant be smelling this exhaust fumens and strange odors inside our car.

- La Libertad, AL, USA

problem #9

Sep 172012

Explorer 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 17,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that the low engine oil pressure warning light illuminated. The contact mentioned that the failure recurred intermittently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer however, the failure could not be duplicated. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 17,000. Updated 8/28/14 updated 09/15/2014

- Florissant, MO, USA

problem #8

Mar 202013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 20,390 miles
I have been smelling exhaust into vehicle cabin, looked at forums, & found 62 pages of complaints by Explorer owners, on www.explorerforum.com, called dealer, took vehicle in for 2 days, under tsb-128-12-12-4, service work, still have same issue months later, still waiting for Ford to correct problem. At present time a law suit has been filed in Florida, article found in sun senntial newspaper, at www.sun-senntial.com video shows co at 139 acceptable level should be 100.

- Las Vegas , NV, USA

problem #7

Apr 182014

Explorer 4-cyl

  • 44,000 miles
On Friday April 18, 2014 my wife an I prestarted the car to go to dinner, after only 2 minutes the car shut of. Upon review of the issue the low oil pressure light came on, the stability control light came on, as well as he service engine soon light. The mileage at the incident was approx 45,500 but the complaint says 44,000 because this is the second time it has done this, and the first time for the stability control light to illuminate. After dinner we came home and attempted to restart the vehicle, everything seemed normal, it started it drove, but subsequently we had it towed to Ford, so they could address the problem.

- Gulfport, MS, USA

problem #6

Feb 262014

Explorer 4-cyl

  • miles
On Monday 10march2014, my 2012 Ford Explorer started and immediately stalled out, when I look at the dash it had said it had low oil pressure. The vehicle was towed to cavalier Ford in chesapeake, va where it has been determined that the high pressure fuel line and high pressure fuel pump have to be replaced. During further trouble shooting it was discovered that henderson Ford in bay St. Louis, ms had installed a fuel injector into the engine without properly ensuring the cleanliness of either the injector or the point of insertion. It has been determined by cavalier Ford that henderson Ford improperly installed a replacement part, and allowed me to drive over 1,000 miles with this problematic part in place!

- Gulfport, MS, USA

problem #5

Mar 102014

Explorer 4-cyl

  • 43,138 miles
On Monday March 10, 2014 I started the my 2012 Ford Explorer and drove it to work approximately 2 miles and shut it off, after 25 minutes I returned to the vehicle and attempted to start it. The vehicle started and then immediately shut off and said low oil pressure, I proceeded to remove the key and open the hood. I checked the oil and all was within range, no issue immediately noted, I closed the hood and attempted to restart the car. Upon the attempted restart the car took a substantial amount of time to finally turn over, I immediately shut the car off and figured it needed to refresh itself and waited a moment. After restarting on the third try I then attempted to drive it all indicators had turned off. While driving the vehicle it refused to accelerate over 35mph, I immediately reported the issue to Ford and the vehicle had to be towed to cavalier Ford in greenbrier, va.

- Gulfport, MS, USA

problem #4

Aug 272013


  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that while driving approximately 20 mph, the vehicle stalled as the wrench warning icon illuminated. The contact merged to the shoulder and was able to restart the vehicle. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer for a diagnostic. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure and current mileage was 40,000.

- Plymouth, MA, USA

problem #3

Jul 172012

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 6,991 miles
When using the passing gear, to pass a vehicle, toxic exhaust fumes get sucked in the cabin, took the vehicle to the Ford dealer, and was told that it has been happening to the Ford Explorer, and that Ford Motor Company knows, but does not know what is causing it ; this happens only when using the passing gear to pass another vehicle, the fumes are so bad inside the cabin that the window has to be open to the let the fumes out. This a hazard and health issue.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #2

Mar 282012


  • 50 miles
Overheating large amount of fluid leaking under car and steam or smoke coming out of tail pipe" tow truck was called car towed to local dealer. My 2012 Ford Explorer has been in shop 3 different occasions for same thing: No heat, no air conditioning, overheating, my Ford sync recall??"

- Maurertown , VA, USA

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