2013 Ford Explorer exhaust system problems: exhaust odor in cabin

Exhaust Odor In Cabin

2013 Ford Explorer (Page 1 of 2)

This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Ford dealer.

CarComplaints.com Seal Of This Might Hurt


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
47,450 miles
Total Complaints:
31 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (24 reports)
  2. repair exhaust leak (3 reports)
  3. repair hvac system (2 reports)
  4. replaced the explorer with a f-150 (1 reports)
  5. reprogram hvac, new exhaust system (1 reports)
2013 Ford Explorer exhaust system problems

exhaust system problem

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2013 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #31

Oct 082018

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,000 miles


The Ford exhaust system is the worst! This is the first vehicle I have owned in the last 15 years that has had exhaust failure before 150K. As I have owned numerous vehicles through my family and business I have had solid experience with this. We have had some fumes at roughly 60K but due to my heavy schedule and not getting ill from the fumes I continued to drive it. Hoping Ford would recall the vehicle due to the thousands of complaints and investigations. It is obvious that ford does not care. Since that time I have been buying Nissan and Chevy's. They have lost our business due to their lack of commitment to their client base. That would be a bit over $100,000 from my business alone.

- Stephen M., Crown Point, IN, US

problem #30

Feb 012018

Explorer Limited 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

Approximately 6-8 ago I started getting I irritation and slowly moved from that to exhaustion, now I have all those symptoms plus nausea and dizziness, almost to the point of passing out. The older wasn't very bad before but now it has a distinct smell. I received a letter from Ford Motor Company to bring my vehicle in which I am doing tomorrow April 19 at 8:30 in the morning. And it seems like everyone knew about this issue from Ford motor company and now it seems like it is a wider problem than they ever thought.

I can't afford to trade this car in at this point and this is the only transportation I have, I am taking time off from work to take care of this problem. I was a very healthy person who ran then went to the gym all the time but now I am so exhausted and feeling sick I've cut my workouts in half and those that I do to make me nauseous. When I go to work it's very difficult to concentrate and also the dizziness follows me into my job, I am hoping this vehicle gets fixed and that the symptoms of this carbon monoxide poisoning eventually leaves my system .

- William B., Stafford, US

problem #29

Jun 012016

Explorer Limited I4 Turbo

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles

Where to start? We have had significant problems to minor problems since purchasing our 2013 Ford Explorer Limited preowned in 2016. I needed an SUV with a third row seat for my growing family and the Explorer got great reviews. We have had the folding seats break twice. We had interior pieces fall off. We had water in the spare tire well that required re-welding the frame to fix. We had the A-arm windshield trim blow off while doing 45 mph. We had a check engine light come on from the drive from Florida to Kentucky and it was a bad turbo. Nice! But the scariest is that my wife would complain about random bad headaches after spending all day in the truck (groceries, her business, errands, and taking our daughters to school, after school activities, dog for a haircut, ect). I believe that we are one of the unlucky ones that needs the exhaust system recall. We have been without the Explorer for two months after the dealership gave us a Hyundai rental SUV (while they are fixing the turbo) and she hasn't had a headache since...

- Aaron G., Tampa, US

problem #28

Sep 252017

Explorer LTS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles


Over 2700 complaints and 41 injuries to date with exhaust issue that is releasing large amount of carbon monoxide into the cars through the vents was found to be the problem for my 2013 Ford Explorer this past Monday at World Ford in Pensacola FL. I was told by the service dept that this was the same issue that all of these other Explorers have had and that the expensive repairs don't work anyway. Ford has bought back 3 just from this dealer alone and several cars have elected to have the repairs done but according to all of the many websites with complaints on this issue- the repairs either don't help or make it worse. I found out today after being on the phone with more people that I can count from the 800 # at Ford and the service dept at World Ford, that this dealership "isn't willing to participate in any repairs" and was then told to handle it with Ford consumer affairs...who keeps pushing me back on the service dept.

I don't know what's more unnerving about this...that Ford knows just how big of an issue this is and they haven't done a formal recall yet or that it's documented that I am a single mom, with one of my children having asthma and I've had horrible headaches and stomach aches for the last year- never knowing why we've been so sick until a few days ago but no one wants to do anything about it! So, I'll file a complaint with the BBB and will blast a review on every social media site that's connected to Ford until someone steps forward and either tries to see if a repair will work or will buy it back from me, allowing me to trade it in for something SAFE!

How many people need to be sick or die from carbon monoxide poisoning or continue to have wrecks from passing out from the carbon monoxide poisoning before Ford actually does a FULL recall and fixes our cars that we all paid a decent amount of money for??

- Amanda E., Gul, US

problem #27

Oct 012016

Explorer XLT 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,500 miles

Have this terrible exhaust rotten egg smell when I accelerate, called the Ford dealer, they acknowledged there is a problem, told me about a TSB, but they told me I am not covered for repairs due to mileage being over warranty coverage, I can't afford $2,000 out of my pocket they told me it would cost. I don't understand why Ford will not recall and repair this problem, I'm sure there are thousands of people with this problem. I'm sick of being pushed around by this large corporation and getting away without fixing my vehicle. So sad, and can't afford another vehicle on social security. Time for our government to step in and protect us consumers!

- treborriada, Phoenix, US

problem #26

Apr 032017

Explorer XLT 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles

As with many others, I have the exhaust smell in the cabin. I had step one & two of the TSB performed, and in my opinion, it made the problem worse.

It's going in for step three on Monday.

- Jon M., Mount Pleasant, SC, US

problem #25

Sep 152013

Explorer Limited 3.5L, V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles


Seems to be worse at times when either the AC or heater are being used. I keep thinking it is outside air coming in but I have the button pushed for inside air only. Gives me a headache on long trips.

- ravona, Midland, US

problem #24

Sep 302012

Explorer Limited 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 621 miles

Ford dealer performed TSB 12-12-04 but did not eliminate the problem.

Smell/Odor is ever present during steady high RPM at 3,000 and above while using AC under recirc.

- chrischua, Makati, Philippines

problem #23

Nov 092016

Explorer Wagon GY

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

I have been feeling dizzy and short of breath on my way to work often and felt fine once I got to work. Usually on trips longer than ten minutes and usually when the windows were closed and air was on. This has been happening for a VERY long time. I thought it was anxiety until I heard read about possible card monoxide poisoning in Ford Explorers 2011-2017. It makes sense now. Why I only feel like crap in my car!!!!!! Karma FORD! I'lL never buy from you again and tell everyone I know about this. This is horrible and a terrible cover up!

- Adrienne S., Bridgewater, US

problem #22

Jul 032017

Explorer Limited 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,393 miles

I started smelling exhaust fumes in the cabin when I accelerated. I thought it was something that will go away but its getting worse. Why is there no recall on this issue?

- guer, Choctaw, US

problem #21

Feb 012015

Explorer XLT 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles


I thought it was just me. The check engine light started coming on and off. I had it checked and it said vapor lock or something. Then the smell started and at first I thought it was the traffic I was in then when I realized it was happening when I was going down the road I knew something was up.

- kbarjam, Fort Worth, US

problem #20

Jan 202017

Explorer Limited 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles

I have yet to take it back to the dealer to have them check it out. The first time we took it they said it was the cabin filter but I don't think so.

- Moe P., Tolleson, US

problem #19

Jul 252017

Explorer XLT 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,000 miles

An exhaust odor is present in the cabin shortly after hard acceleration. This problem has been occurring since I purchased the vehicle new in 2013. It was also present in another Explorer I test-drove prior to ordering mine.

- Patrick M., Auburn, US

problem #18

Mar 012016

Explorer XLT 3.5lV6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,288 miles

Exhaust smell in cabin when getting up to speed. Not floor boarding gas pedal neither. normal acceleration. Ford will not fix problem. will check myself, think there is leaks at the exhaust manifolds or drop down pipes . all mufflers 3 of them have drain holes in them. all holes are facing toward front. does not seem right to me!!! I WILL FIND WHAT IT IS. LET YOU KNOW.

- rwildrick, Demotte, IN, US

problem #17

Feb 022017

Explorer XLT 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,828 miles

While driving home on the expressway. The cabin of this Explorer filled with exhaust fumes. Dropped the car off at nearest dealership (GM dealership does most of our car work ). Car is supposed to have an extended warranty. Was told there is a bulletin of this for Ford Explorer. Told to bring it to the dealership. The repair should be covered by Ford. We purchased an extended warranty from Ford dealership at time of purchase. Ford dealership claimed no knowledge of this problem. Claimed it is not covered by extended warranty. This issue came up as soon as I Googled it. So, no effort by dealership to research an issue with a Ford vehicle. This issue is under investigation by the NTSB, so they did not even look or attempt to satisfy their customer. So, they have ripped us off for $ 1500.00 for an extended warranty that was a platinum level plan. It was suppose to extend the basic warranty to 75,000 miles. They wanted $ 868.00 to repair the car. We paid $ 130.00 for diagnosis fees and pick up the car. At this time we are contacting the extended warranty company to see if they denied the claim. The dealership probably did not attempt to make a claim nor did it review Ford's bulletin. If so they would have known this is an ongoing issue with Ford and a class action law suit is pending. The Ford dealership can either repair the car for the $ 100.00 deductible ( which has been paid ) or refund the $ 1500.0 they ripped us off when the car was purchased. If not I will contact an attorney.

- Faith C., Gretna, LA, US

problem #16

Jan 012016

Explorer LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

Exhaust fumes come into the car when any type of acceleration is required; i.e., passing a vehicle, entering the Interstate, etc. Has been happening since first purchasing the car. Husband did not think anything of it as he was not the primary driver of the vehicle. Finally took it in after a couple of years of driving it as it was getting increasingly worse and also got husband to experience the problem. Ford dealership came back with ~$1100.00 bill to have it fixed. Said it was a problem with the HVAC system. Was not covered under warranty even though we had an extended warranty, etc. Did not get it fixed - primarily due to the fact that dealership told me it was not dangerous (i.e, my car was not going to burst into flames), and I subsequently did some research online finding out that this was a common problem with this vehicle.

The problem continues and not just when I accelerate. There is a regular exhaust odor that comes into the car so much so that I experience throat irritation and coughing when I am driving the vehicle lately.

- montgomeryfl, Tampa, FL, US

problem #15

May 182015

Explorer Limited 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,000 miles

It's been stinking out the air conditioning vents for the longest time, but I thought maybe it was oil or something on the engine getting hot whenever I passed cars on two lane roads and had to really put the pedal on the floor. Now it does the (exhaust smell) more frequently, 1 because I'm waiting for it and 2 because we now live it a different hilly terrain. I'm taking it to a Ford Service Inspection on 11/21/2016

- ggruhala, Farmington, MO, US

problem #14

Jun 152014

Explorer Limited 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,000 miles

When you go pass another vehicle the exhaust smell is terrible in the cabin.

- acdoc502, Frostproof, FL, US

problem #13

Apr 042016

Explorer Sport 3.5L V6 Ecoboost

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles

Starting around April 2016, it became very noticeable that exhaust odors were filling the inside the vehicle when RPMs went over 4,000 (really bad at interstate on ramps). This is just after 3 years of owning the vehicle. After reading online there were a few TSBs to resolve the issue, I had the Explorer "fixed" in August. While the TSBs did help to minimize the issue, it has not fully gone away. I just don't want to afford Ford to explore the car for more design issues on my dime. I am already out $810.78 for fixing this even though I have the Ford extended bumper to bumper warranty. While I am disappointed in Ford, not having this fixed under the extended (and expensive to buy) warranty is a killer. I was looking into buying the 2017 Ford Explorer Platinum for my wife and am now looking to other vehicles because of how Ford is handling this issue. I believe my asthma has gotten steadily worse since owning this vehicle. It is really a shame because it is a great vehicle otherwise.

- Nathan N., Greenfield, WI, US

problem #12

Oct 172013

Explorer XLT 3.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,000 miles

Under acceleration fumes come back into the cabin. Smell is very bad

- Howell M., Fulshear, TX, US

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