really awful
Crashes / Fires:
5 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
32,640 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.

2013 Ford Explorer drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2013 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #18

Mar 202015

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 20,500 miles


Exiting from parking lot and speed of about 15 mph on a straight road, no pot holes, at about 100 ft from the parking exit, it hit an electric post. Left front suspension, fender, wheels, pillars, rocker & floor, radiator support, front lamps, hood, steering rock, cradle, transmission transfer case, front door and many more damage. All are in left side. I checked the VIN but it is not on recall for power steering problem however I suspect power steering was the caused of accident. It is a major damaged and the insurance is not yet decided if repair or total wreck. I asked the Ford dealership to see on the diagnostic computer of the vehicle but up to now they have not yet check.

- Wallingford, CT, USA

problem #17

Aug 022014

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • miles
When I shift into park, the computer starts peeping and telling me to shift into park. The dash says its in park, and it wont go any further, but it won't stop beeping till I mess with putting it in and out of park several times. I use my parking brake "all" the time because I can't trust that it is really in park or not. When I called the dealer they said they had a couple in the shop that were having the same problem and they were replacing something on it and if it solved the problem, they'd let me know. I haven't heard anything and am still having the problem.

- Lawton, OK, USA

problem #16

Mar 082015

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 20,100 miles
Parked on slight incline in driveway, did not use parking brake, after about two hours I came back and noticed that my vehicle had rolled into the vehicle behind me, a total distance of about 3 feet, my tire tracks were visible in the snow, which is how I identified that my vehicle rolled backwards and was not hit from the vehicle behind mine.

- Mayfield, OH, USA

problem #15

Sep 232014


  • 44,100 miles


I was leaving to run errands I start the car & seen I forgot something so I left it running opened door & it rolled back into our carport pole while in park. It has been giving a shift to park warning for about a month when the car is in park and turned off this is the 3rd time we have had trouble since we bought June 6. here's maintenance July 7,2104 front wheel bearing August 6,2014 the molding came off windshield passenger side while driving & the drivers side was loose. September 23,2014 rolling backwards while in park. We also have a picture of the warning shift to park.

- Maysvile , OK, USA

problem #14

Jul 162014


  • 44,765 miles
On 16 July 2014, I was driving and my vehicle just stopped while I was driving it, Ford claims that this is a safety device to protect the transmission, but this is a serious health and safety issue for people and their lives. I could have easily gotten hurt or caused a serious traffic accident if I was on a different road or on the interstate. Ford claims that because of the grille design that they have ont he vehicle it causes major issues to the air condensor and transmission cooler, because any and everything...debris, rocks, insects, birds... can cause the condensor/cooler to be damaged which will cause the customer to have to constantly pay out of pocket expenses. This is a major safety concern.

- Columbus, GA, USA

problem #13

Apr 152014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 29,000 miles
Upon moderate or hard acceleration, a strong burnt or exhaust smell enters the cabin.

- Hoover, AL, USA

problem #12

Sep 012013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 10,000 miles


Every time I give an 'open throttle', or hard acceleration on my vehicle there is a foul smell that enters the cabin via the air condition vents. I had the issue looked into by my Ford dealer after the problem started. The dealer acted like they have never heard of the complaint but after reading various threads on the internet it appears a lot of other people have had the same issue. After some research I've learned that the smell is actually exhaust fumes entering the cabin. Ford acknowledges the issue but states the amount of exhaust fumes are not enough to become toxic. I am very concerned of this issue and Ford needs to fix the problem.

- Canton, MS, USA

problem #11

Aug 012013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 12,000 miles
Steering power support stopped without warning during a turn at lower speed. Car became almost impossible to control (turn or steer). Fault lights included stability, traction, and environmental control errors came on as the steering power support terminated. Fuse and mechanism were undamaged. Turning the car on and off did not remove the fault. Vehicle did this another 3 times, including one at high speed of 70 mph on highway in fat left lane. Had to allow for vehicle to merge across 4 lanes of interstate traffic to shoulder and eventually slow down. All components of vehicle then turn off and multiple attempts to turn off and on vehicle are required with prolonged terms of vehicle being left off.

- Danbury, CT, USA

problem #10

Jun 032013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 65 miles
Under heavy acceleration exhaust fumes enter the cabin. This is well documented on the Ford Explorer forums. www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?T=323597. A recall is needed or they need to buy these back!

- Blaine, MN, USA

problem #9

Jul 192013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 9,500 miles
On a night with light rain, after traveling 1.5 hrs with cruise control on, I pulled off interstate exit to make a phone call. I did not turn engine off. After call I proceeded to get back on interstate, while merging back onto interstate I accelerated hard to attain merging speed, when I merged safely in front of semi the engine shook violently and lost power. To avoid being hit, I jerked vehicle into emergency lane. The check engine light was flashing and the car placed in limp mode. I turned the vehicle completely of and restarted the engine and every thing appeared to have returned to normal. I later read that night that the F150 with same engine was having similar problems. I took the vehicle to Ford the following Monday. The service advisor informed me that Ford has been having the same problem with my engine that is in the Ford F150 in humid areas. He stated that large amounts of condensation forms in the intercooler when driving for long periods without utilizing turbo, then next time you accelerate hard the turbos suck all the condensation into the engine causing a misfire and puts engine into limp mode. After a week of them contacting Ford engineers and running test, they told me they cannot repeat problem and the engine did not store any codes in the ECM from the problem. Ford also told the dealer that I'm the only person with a 2013 Explorer with the 3.5 ecoboost engine that has ever reported problem. Since then I have read about two lawsuits which have been filed against Ford involving the ecoboost engine and included the 2013 Ford Explorer Sport. Apparently this statement is not true. This is a very serious safety issue for me and my family. The Ford company is apparently denying the issue exist, leaving me to drive a vehicle that can potentially put my family others with the same vehicle in harms way. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- St. Johns, FL, USA

problem #8

Jul 092013


  • 9,200 miles


I started driving and engine started revving up, took foot out of gas pedal an vehicle continued revving up to 3,000 RPM in slow speed. Change transmission to "N" and vehicle continued at 3,000 RPM. Changed back to "D" and did not changed, once again change to "N" and back to drive and RPM came down.

- Carolina, PR, USA

problem #7

Aug 122012

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 2,000 miles
I took a 10-month rental on this vehicle in July/2012 thru enterprise/santa barbara, ca, where this incident took place. I: left the car curbside believing it was in park; crossed the sidewalk to greet a friend, left the driver door open; noticed the car rolling backward toward a car parked further down the curb; ran after the car; got into the 'V' between the driver seat and door; kept my left foot on the street - my right foot in the car to hit the brake; was unable as the momentum and door pushed me backward; "rode" the car backward with 2 hands in the interior door handle, holding myself off the road. The bottom of the door raked up the length of my left shin (scrapes and hematomas) and forced me to let go. Landed on the street, left arm stuck under my back. I was pinned between the edge of the door and the asphalt as the car dragged me down the street. Implored my friend to help. He gave chase as the door edge cut across my torso as it dragged me (tremendous pressure on chest and left shoulder?long bruise from right hip to left shoulder. He succeeded with difficulty as there was no power to the brakes. Extreme pain for days, covered with external and internal bruises. Mri revealed a rotator cuff tear in left shoulder. Endured months of pain/loss of mobility while finishing project in California. Returned home to Connecticut, endured a difficult rotator cuff + labrum repair surgery. Facing months of physical therapy and a long, hopefully successful recovery. This was the 2nd such incident with this vehicle, the first without trauma. Lucky to come out of this as well as I did, I'm told the next in sequence would have been the tire running over my leg. I know others have been disabled + killed in such scenarios. Please don't neglect this glaring problem. I urge the NHTSA to do everything in its power to remediate this giant leap backward in vehicular safety.

- Fairfield, CT, USA

problem #6

Jun 262013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 13,000 miles
Driving vehicle and cross traffic system failure turns on, advancetrac system failure, stability control failure and traction control failure occur. Vehicle begins to decelerate and transmission goes from an illuminated "D" to blank. Very hard to maneuver vehicle. Vehicle struggles to gain speed afterwards. The only resolution I have found is to pull over if possible and turn on vehicle and restart. This has happened 4 times in the past two weeks.

- Weslaco, TX, USA

problem #5

Jan 202013


  • miles
Vehicle begins to vibrate and can not be driven over 35 mph during or after snow storms with wet heavy snow on road (sometimes caused by salting roadway). Wheel well opening around all four tires are so small and enclosed, snow accumulates into solid ice around all four tires and both axles begin to vibrate violently. Driver either stops every 8-10 miles along side busy highway to chop ice out (takes me 40 minutes for all four tire openings), slows highway traffic down to 30 mph, or goes to Ford dealer. Local dealer sees 6-10 of these vehicles a day and chops ice out at no charge and makes no work order history. Traveling at only 35 mph when traffic is going 55 or 70 mph is dangerous. Stopping every 8-15 minutes along busy highway to chop ice with back to passing traffic is dangerous. Dealers do not inform potential buyers of the ice problem. Ford has this design defect problem with more than one make of vehicle, knows about the complaints, but will not sponsor a solution. Personally, along with clearing the ice on M-115 as I go to a doctor's appointment in traverse city, chopping ice hurts my bone on bone shoulders and the lower three vertebrae of my back that no longer have a disc between them. The slippery side of road is dangerous for my two artificial hips and is simply not safe to my person and slows down some passing vehicles that may slip and slide into me or oncoming traffic of the only 2 lane highway. Northern Michigan is getting unnecessarily more dangerous in the winter time. There have been multiple incidents and the incident date above is only approximate.

- Cadillac, MI, USA

problem #4

May 062013


  • 2,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that while traveling 65 mph, the steering wheel seized. The contact was able to maneuver the vehicle to the side of the highway. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer and was told that the problem could have been with the steering, axle or the transmission. The dealer did not have specifics pertaining to the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure and the current mileages were 2,000.

- Holly Springs , NC, USA

problem #3

Mar 042013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 600 miles
I drove my recently acquired and new Ford Explorer Sport for first time on the highway on March 4, 2013. When accelerating to pass a truck, I lost control of front end to point of swirling and near collision with the truck. I don't consider this a fluke as same happened a while later during same highway trip. I'm very familiar with high horsepower passenger vehicles and sports cars for that matter. I am also very familiar with higher and allowable speeds having driven and handled sport cars and passenger vehicles on german autobahns while living in europe. It is my experience and belief that the combination of characteristics (weight balancing in combination with significant horsepower, possibly large tire size, traction and four wheel/front wheel drive aspects, thrust etc.) make this vehicle, the Ford Explorer Sport, extremely dangerous on highway while accelerating at allowable speeds. A local dealerships' expert (read: Dealer is an independent contractor) in Indiana confirmed my observations and beliefs and used term "squirlyness" to describe vehicles' handling when accelerating at highway speeds. Ford indicates that vehicle operates as designed, I content the design is bad, causing this Ford Explorer Sport version to be very dangerous. In my mind it is entirely foreseeable that accidents will happen to unsuspecting drivers of this vehicle based on the vehicle characteristics. Obviously this is something that will not be admitted to by Ford due to pre-emptive liability assumption in case of accidents. I offered Ford to take this new vehicle back. Once again I understand that they would not as this would imply admittance of safety concerns regarding the Ford Explorer Sport version.

- Grand Rapids, MI, USA

problem #2

Dec 062011

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 800 miles
Within a week of purchasing my new vehicle, I started to encounter a stalling issue when backing vehicle. When I put the vehicle in reverse and shift into drive while still rolling, the vehicle stalls. I have several other Ford vehicles and this does not happen with any of them. I even have a 2012 Ford Focus that this does not occur with. This happens almost everytime. When I go from park to reverse and back out of a parking spot. If vehicle does not come to a complete stop, when I shift into drive, the vehicle stalls. After spending two days at the dealership, I was told there is nothing wrong with this vehicle. The dealership also took out a few new vehicles on their lot and they were able to reproduce this on the vehicles on their lot. I feel this is a huge danger to anyone who has a vehicle that does this. The dealership stated that they had been in contact with the engineers at Ford and that this is a normal reaction on this vehicle. I asked for this in writing, they have yet to provide me with a written explanation.

- Fancy Farm , KY, USA

problem #1

Jan 152013


  • 224 miles
The shifter clicks as soon as I put the gear in park. Took it to dealership and was told that it is normal. I have quite a few bad experiences with my previous cars that I know when something is not normal. Taking the car again tomorrow since it keeps on happening. It's only been 4 days so the car should not have any problems.

- Corona, CA, USA

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