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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2013 Ford Explorer:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2013 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #38

Nov 022016


  • 93,300 miles


The power take-off unit had to be replaced wihtin a little over 3 years of purchase at a cost of $14781.11, which would have been double the cost had it been taken to a Ford dealership. The warranty had expired. I was surprised to learn that this is an endemic problem that is neither subject to recall nor prior notice from Ford. I spoke to a Ford representative who was careful to say that she had no statistics about the problem; when I asked her if Ford did, she repeated her prior statement, as if coached. The take-off unit leaked fluid everywhere, and caused the vehicle to stall while driving at street and highways speeds, which could have been a danger to my family and me. Stalling occurred even while the vehicle was not in 4-wheel drive. Again, I was surprised that there is no NHTSA recall issued, nor does Ford notify drivers of the potential danger. Yet per the internet, it appears that hundreds, if not thousands, of these units routinely fail within just a few years due to their design. A great way for Ford to lose customers as well.

- Scottsdale, AZ, USA

problem #37

Jul 132016


  • 57,000 miles
Shift to park issue - the vehicle is in park but the dash lights up and says "shift to park'. this happens even though the vehicle is actually in park. After several tries cannot get the dash light to turn off. Problem is even though the car is turned off the back light on the dash will stay on thus draining the battery. If you don't drive the car for a few days you could come out to a car that won't start because of a dead battery. Had it fixed at my local dealership costing roughly $500. The technical service bulletin that is out on the issue says to replace the entire shifter. The problem is something on the inside of the shifter. My vehicle has less than 60,000 miles. This is a very common problem (just google "shift to park"). according to the tsb this affects Explorer, edge, and some Lincoln models as well. Disappointed Ford will not take care of since this is a safety issue. Dealership service manager says Ford should pay for it (bob utter Ford) and Ford customer service line says they only pay for items under warranty, recalls, and the customer satisfaction program. This does not fall under any of those per Ford. Ford should anti up for this as a recall since it is a safety issue and a very common problem. Vehicle stationary during problem.

- Gunter, TX, USA

problem #36

Sep 052016


  • 69,000 miles
Vehicle is a 2013 Explorer XLT that was purchased new. It has 69K and is outside the 5yr/60K powertrain warranty. My wife commutes to work and drives the kids to school. We do not tow or haul anything with it. A few days ago she was pulling out of the driveway and hit about 20mph when it lost power and wouldn't accelerate (like it was in neutral). She pulled over and tried to turn around, but there was no reverse. Was able to get home with help from a neighbor. If this had happened on the highway or at an intersection the results could have been very different possibly resulting in injury or death. I drove it and the check engine light was on and "terrain management system fault light came on. It through a few codes P0756, P2701, and U3003. Had it towed to dealer and they ultimately are saying the codes mean that there is a mechanical failure of the transmission and it needs to be replaced to the tune of $5,800. I called Ford customer service and they have yet to do anything. I find it appalling that a 3 year old car with under 70K had a total catastrophic failure of the transmission and I'm expected to cover the entire cost.

- New Milford, CT, USA

problem #35

Sep 092016


  • 50,600 miles


Vehicle will not shift into park. Receive message "shift to park". after several attempts, will eventually shift to park (so far). Familiar with several complaints of same issue on Ford Explorer and Expedition with center console

- Alabaster, AL, USA

problem #34

Aug 242016


  • 39,900 miles
While driving air conditioning clutch seized and came apart destroying serpentine belt

- Lancaster, NY, USA

problem #33

Aug 052016


  • 35,595 miles
The throttle body fails causing my vehicle to enter "limp" mode regardless of location or current speed. Will go 70 on a highway then all of the sudden lose speed and speed control. This issue can also happen when accelerating, slowing down, etc. The biggest worry is losing speed control regardless of location. This issue has been identified in other Ford models and is being voluntarily repaired (by Ford). However, for some reason the 2013 Ford Explorer was not included in this. Obviously losing throttle control while driving, hence Ford voluntary repair of the issue. The issue started two weeks ago and randomly happens. Last happened on 05 Aug 2016.

- Pearland, TX, USA

problem #32

Jul 152016


  • 88,500 miles


On two separate occasions, the car stalled after de-accelerating to a stopped position and made a "clunk" sound from the transmission area. During the first event at a traffic light, a very noticeable "clunk" was heard that sounded like the transmission. The car was re-started and seemed to drive normally. To be on the safe side, we brought the car to the dealership to have it checked but they could find nothing wrong. During the second event at a stop sign, another very noticeable "clunk" was heard from the underside of the car and the car actually shifted so that it was felt by the body. After re-starting the car this time and placing it into drive, this time the car did not move when pressing down on the gas pedal. Instead, only the engine revved up. In addition, when putting the gear into the reverse or drive position, that loud "clunk" sound and the physical shifting of the vehicle also happened. Because the car would literally not go, we called for a tow-truck and took it to the Ford dealership. At the dealership, a customer care rep and a technician came outside to look at the car. When putting the car into reverse and drive, the same "clunk" and shifting of the vehicle was observed and acknowledged by both men. However, at this point the car would move forward when applying the gas. We left the car at the dealership for evaluation. When following up early the next week, ,we were informed that they had driven the car about 100 miles over the course of three trips and the car was running normally. Also, we were told that the diagnostic/evaluation of the PCM and transmission did not show anything was wrong. In my opinion, there are two problems here: #1, the stalling/transmission problem and #2, the inability to identify the problem for such a major event

- Matthews, NC, USA

problem #31

Jul 292016


  • 33,000 miles
On 7/29/16 as I was driving home (less than a ten miles) after washing my vehicle a warning light with a wrench came on and I loss acceleration vehicle went from 50 mph to 5 mph unsure due speedometer becoming inoperative I pulled over into a shopping center stopped engine and restarted it again I then put the vehicle in drive at which time I had acceleration again at which time I continued home arrived and parked the vehicle.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #30

Jul 052016


  • 32,038 miles
Bought a used Ford explore XLT with 32K miles. As I have been driving the SUV I am noticing that whenever I fully press down on the gas peddle to increase my acceleration whether I am merging onto the freeway, changing lanes or scaling a hill, the cabin is filled with a strong emissions odor. Which worries me because I normally have children in the vehicle. As I let up on the gas peddle the odor dissipates. I have noticed this odor when I have my max A/C function on which is using recirculated air.

- Fontana, CA, USA

problem #29

Jul 092016


  • 73,000 miles
Delay or lag under heavy acceleration, was making a left onto incoming traffic from a complete stop, should have had enough time under normal circumstances to make the turn but there was about a 3 second delay before the engine really kicked in and started accelerating and ended up almost causing an accident, I've never felt so powerless to do anything other than veer out of the lane to avoid getting hit

- Chino, CA, USA

problem #28

Jul 092016


  • 73,000 miles


Delay or lag under heavy acceleration, was making a left onto incoming traffic, should have had enough time under normal circumstances but there was about a 3 second delay before the engine really kicked in ended up almost causing an accident, I've never felt so powerless to do anything other than veer out of the lane to avoid getting hit

- Chino, CA, USA

problem #27

Jul 072016


  • 36,000 miles
36,000 miles on my 2013 Ford Explorer. Started up my car and went to back up and I had no power steering. My car was built after the cut off of the re-call and will be having it looked at and fixed on Monday. Ford needs to extend the re-call to later models as this problem is effecting a lot more Ford then they thought. This is out right wrong of Ford.

- Loxahatchee, FL, USA

problem #26

Jul 042016


  • 30,000 miles
Vehicle emits bad odor upon hard acceleration or any other activity which puts a strain on the engine. Dealer deodorized the exhaust system with some perfume like substance which stopped the smell, but probably not the gas, for a while which soon wore off and returned. Ford does not claim to know anything about the issue. I'm concerned about carbon monoxide and have thought about putting in a sensor to record the levels. There is something wrong with the exhaust system.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #25

Jun 252016


  • 46,000 miles
Fuel throttle body error P2111 has happened 5 times in 3 days, causing great distress to me and my family. This is a potentially deadly defect and it seems many others are having the same issue. What occurs is that a wrench appears on screen with the error message "terrain management system fault" and the vehicle goes into "limp mode, " even at highway speeds, causing the accelerator pedal to become unresponsive.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #24

Apr 172016


  • 38,000 miles
While driving approximately 40mph preparing to merge onto freeway I lost acceleration power and vehicle decelerated to 5mph nearly causing accident. After turning car off and back on it resumed normal operation. Later that day my wife experienced the same problem. We had vehicle towed to Ford dealership and after two days they were prepared to return the vehicle because the problem did not present during the test drives. After refusing to take it back until they figured it out the next day we were told that the throttle body was "bad". 2 days later the vehicle was "fixed" and returned to us. The very next morning we had the same problem with vehicle losing propulsion and decelerating rapidly. After taking it back to the the dealership we were told that the "new" throttle body that was installed was also "bad". after another 2 days we picked up our car and have not had any problems so far.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #23

Nov 112015


  • 60,000 miles
I noticed right after buying my car that it would sometimes be in park, but the car would tell me to shift to park. I talked with the sales guy at the dealership, he said he would look in to it. It happened a few times. Then one time, I shifted to park in a rain storm and released the brake. I looked in to the passenger seat to grab my things and the car rolled in to my house causing damage to the house and to the car.

- Omaha, NE, USA

problem #22

Jan 162016


  • 55,000 miles
When I put the car in park, the message "shift to park" is illuminated on the dash - when the car was in fact in "park". I have to repeatedly shift the car in and out of "park" or turn the car on and off to get the message to go away. The dealership replaced the gear shift which cost me $390.33.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #21

Nov 192015


  • 48,528 miles
Info display on dash would always state "shift into park" even after turning off the engine with car already into park position--Ford dealer had to replace shifter control at a cost of $462.54--was told by service tech they have the part in stock--and have seen this problem before on newer cars--was told part cannot be fixed.

- Fishers, IN, USA

problem #20

Aug 182015


  • 39,000 miles
During acceleration, there is a noticeable, exhaust smell in the cabin of the vehicle. The smell does not dissipate unless you open the windows or turn the A/C on high to clear the air.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #19

Apr 042015

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 25,000 miles
For the 2nd time in less than 9 months the truck began to sputter when accelerating and shook violently until it finally died. The cabin filled up with a strong fume smell. First time was ~25K miles and this time was ~30K miles.

- Middletown, NJ, USA

Read the next 18 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?