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 1 of 3)

problem #41

Nov 082016


  • 131,400 miles


Drove about 2 miles in the morning while turning onto the interstate ramp the steering locked up would not go over 30mph, SUV started to smoke while the temperature gauge never changed inside of the vehicle. Lucky to not have caused a major accident. After having vehicle towed, per the mechanic the computer system is fried, motor valves melted, and all spark plugs need to be replaced. This SUV is only a 2012 and should not have this major of problems when it has been well taken care of. Ford really needs to look further into this so this does not happen to someone else.

- Henryville, IN, USA

problem #40

Oct 242016


  • 55,128 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Explorer. While driving 35 mph, the check engine warning indicator illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the purge valve was leaking and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 53,128.

- Stevenson, CA, USA

problem #39

Nov 022016


  • 40,000 miles
While driving the vehicle suddenly power would be lost. When applying more pressure to the accelerator, no usable power was present and the vehicle could not exceed 30 mph. After this occurred on the 4th time on a subsequent day, the "engine" symbol was displayed. Currently the vehicle is at a Ford dealership to troubleshoot the problem. On two occasions this discrepancy with acceleration and functionality of available power nearly caused an accident with small children in the vehicle. This should cause a major concern to other owners and Ford Motor Company as a whole due to the potential damage, injury, or death that could occur due to completely losing acceleration and/or power while driving.

- Daphne, AL, USA

problem #38

Oct 012015


  • 95,000 miles


Strong exhaust (burning oil smell) coming into cabin under medium to high acceleration through ventilation ( ac on). The smell permeates the car and burns your nostrils. I could smell it for quite some time even after existing the vehicle (as the smell remains in my nose). Even felt a bit lightheaded after existing the vehicle. I have had passengers notice this smell on several occasions also.

- Brighton, MI, USA

problem #37

Sep 012015


  • 27,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Explorer. While driving various speeds, the contact observed an abnormal odor through the air conditioning unit when the accelerator pedal was depressed. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 27,000.

- Crowley, TX, USA

problem #36

Jun 202016


  • 40,000 miles
For about the last year, I would smell something burning inside my vehicle when entering the freeway. I was never able to identify the source of the smell, even after repeatedly stopping to sniff the engine compartment and around the tires and exhaust. I could not detect the smell outside of the car, nor did I find any evidence of anything burning (no smoke, charred areas, stuck brakes, melted rubber, etc). There didn't appear to be any pattern, as I would smell something burning at different points in my commute, with the only time I consistently experienced it being merging onto the freeway. On June 20, 2016 at 1:38 pm central time, I sent my husband the following text: "is the fire extinguisher still in the car?" due to the overpowering smell of smoke in the passenger compartment shortly after getting on the freeway. I rolled down the windows and exited the freeway, stopping at the far end of a parking lot. There was no smoke nor odor emanating from the exterior of the vehicle. Due to the heat, we drive with the air recirculating most of the year. Much of our driving is in the city, with light acceleration. Typically, the only time we rapidly accelerate is when entering the freeway. On this occasion, I accelerated more than normal due to a semi's position in the right lane. At times, my 7 year old has complained about not being able to breathe with the windows rolled up.

- Mckinney, TX, USA

problem #35

Sep 042016


  • 110,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Explorer. While driving 70 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The failure mileage was approximately 110,000.

- Carthage, MO, USA

problem #34

Mar 012015


  • 48,000 miles
Exhaust smell in cabin after acceleration, for example during attempts to pass on highway, etc. Sometimes referred to as "rotten egg smell". smell is definitely getting in to cabin. Dissipates after several minutes. Have been experiencing neurological problems for about 6 months now (random, constant muscle fasciculations throughout body, strange headaches and heat-related sensations, etc), trying to work with doctors to figure out if symptoms are related to vehicle and the smell. The smell is well-documented on the popular Ford Explorer forums online, and happens usually under hard acceleration or highway speeds.

- Hampton, NH, USA

problem #33

Mar 022015


  • 2 miles
Since day one of ownership I signaled to the service department that I smell fumes in the car while using climate on heat or cold. They tested and said all is ok. After 1 year it still happens every time I use climate, sometimes more obvious than other times. No smoke enters the cabin, just a heavy odor. I always have to open the window to be able to stay in the car. Worried about long term effects on my family and our future baby. Called Ford even today to ask if they have any documentation on this problem..said no.

- Sammamish, WA, USA

problem #32

Jul 012016


  • 46,000 miles
When we accelerate in our 2012 Ford Explorer, the cabin is filled with exhaust fumes. Many times we are required to roll the windows down to let the fumes out as they cause headaches and smell bad. This mainly occurs when we accelerate on to a highway/interstate from the on ramp.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #31

Jul 202016


  • 61,500 miles


While driving down the highway my Explorer made a loud clunk sound and then the wrench symbol appeared on my dashboard. Then the gas pedal quit working, and we had to roll off the highway avoiding being hit by other traffic. I had to stop and restart my car 5-6 times before the gas pedal would work again. This has happened 5 times in the past two months, and when I called to have it serviced they told me the wrench light had to be on for them to identify the problem. But I cant go anywhere when the wrench light comes on and a tow truck will not tow a car with it running for me to get it to the dealership to be tested. This is a safety issue that other people are having. The throttle body is going out on many Explorer after 55,000 miles. Is it going to take deaths before this is a recall?

- Ochelata, OK, USA

problem #30

Jun 292016


  • 56,700 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Explorer. While driving 15 mph, the engine stalled and the low engine pressure light illuminated. The vehicle was able to restart. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the cause of the failure could not be determined. The dealer reprogrammed the computer, but the failure recurred numerous times. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 56,700. The VIN was not available.

- Miami, AZ, USA

problem #29

Jun 012016


  • 53,000 miles
When accelerating to gain access to a highway or just speeding up on a local street, there is a gas or burnt oil smell that permeates the cabin of the vehicle. This happens every time I accelerate, every day.

- Trenton, NJ, USA

problem #28

Oct 142015


  • miles
Exhaust odors in the occupant compartment and oil in the air filter

- Manadan, ND, USA

problem #27

Jun 142016


  • 70,000 miles
I own a 2012 Ford Explorer XLT ecoboost was functioning fine till one day driving my family back from the airport my check engine light came on and began to flash. Then all of a sudden the car SUV began to shake horribly and would not in acceleration. After having the Explorer towed to the Ford dealer it was determined that the ecoboost system failed.

- Apo, AE, USA

problem #26

Jun 122016


  • 93,150 miles
Electronic throttle body failure while driving 65 mph on the highway. Very dangerous.

- Surf City, NC, USA

problem #25

Sep 082015


  • 10,000 miles
Burning smell under acceleration.

- Bellingham, MA, USA

problem #24

Sep 252015


  • 40,000 miles
As I was breaking to turn left at a street light my car started to shake, wrench light came on, the vehicle lost power and stalled. I took it to jordan Ford in san antonio, Texas, they told me they could not duplicate the error message and noticed a carbon build up and recommended cleaning. Almost $500 to pay for something that may not fix the problem. I noticed other complaints online about the same issue that happened to my vehicle and I'm very worried. I drive my children in this car. I would like to know why there aren't any recalls on this vehicle.

- Cibolo, TX, USA

problem #23

Sep 172015


  • 52,920 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that while driving approximately 45 mph, the engine stalled and the check engine warning indicator illuminated. The vehicle was able to restart after the initial attempt. The failure recurred on three occasions. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the throttle body needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 52,920.

- Sebastian, FL, USA

problem #22

Aug 122015


  • 46,000 miles
Exhaust gases enter the cabin when accelerating - smells like rotten eggs - to test theory placed house hold CO2 alarm in vehicle cabin and drove up interstate - exceeding 3500rpm for 2-3 seconds - CO2 alarm went off to indicate CO2 present inside of cabin - conditions were - all windows closed all doors closed - air conditioner running. Dealer states no reported occurrences of this from other Explorer owners, said it could be a faulty CO2 alarm - went to home depot - purchased new CO2 alarm - tested in vehicle with windwos and doors closed - new CO2 alarm also alerts to carbon monoxide (high levels). - CO2 is 100% entering closed cabin.

- Rockville, MD, USA

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