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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
88,750 miles
Total Complaints:
25 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace power steering assembly (12 reports)
  2. not sure (11 reports)
  3. replace steering gear box (2 reports)
2013 Ford Explorer steering problems

steering problem

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2013 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #25

Oct 262019

Explorer XLT 3.5V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles


The steering locks up while driving. I have to stop vehicle, turn off power and restart vehicle - sometimes that will fix a steering lockup. I have had my mechanic check it out - they changed several modules, and a few days later the steering will lockup again. Ford has recalled only half a year of 2013 Explorers for steering problems, but unfortunately my Explorer was not included in the recall.

Update from Dec 10, 2019 Mechanic replaced sensors and steering module. The steering was working fine, then three days later, the power steering warning light in the dash comes on again. I took it back and had two more sensors replaced at $200.00 - $350.00 each time. It's working again, then five days later the steering locked up while driving again and warning of power steering assist failure.

Update from Jan 4, 2020 Steering rack completely failed and I had to have it replaced. Ford only recalled half the year of 2013 Explorers - but unfortunately mine was one that didn’t make the recall.

- quincysgirl2 , Mount Morris, US

problem #24

Aug 112022


  • Automatic transmission
  • 166,595 miles

click to see larger images

loss of power steering

On Thursday August 11, 2022, while driving my son to school, I suddenly lost power steering capabilities, the bells started dinging and lights lit up "Power Steering Assist Fault" while driving approximately 35mph. I pulled over as best I could and turned off the engine. I waited a few minutes and restarted the car only to have the same thing happen again. My son was freaking out as I was trying to stay calm.

After inching to the school to drop him off, I drove home to research the error code to discover that there has been a recall (Recall No. 14S06 / NHTSA Recall No. 14V-286) on 2013 Ford Explorers. I took my car yesterday to the dealership I purchased it from to be informed that my VIN Number does not qualify for the Recall and I am looking at a potential $2,800 fix!!!! How the heck can my car be excluded from the Recall???

I currently have an emergency rental car that I also have paid for a week and that is also approximately $800. Has anyone else had this problem and wasn't included in the Recall notifications?????? I feel like I may have a potential battle with Ford on my hands and would like to know if there are others out there. I found a few online attorneys who appear to be starting, or have started, a Class Action lawsuit for this problem.

- Maria A., Penryn, CA, US

problem #23

Jul 162021

Explorer Limited 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 147,000 miles

The Power Steering Assist Fault warning light first appeared when my wife was about to go to work. She put it into gear, started down the driveway, and the warning light and chime sounded. The power steering immediately stopped working. She parked the vehicle, turned it off, and drove a different car. The next day, I checked it out, and the same thing happened. The power steering was lost and steering was difficult, but drivable. We also had a water pump leak so when I took the vehicle to my mechanic to get that fixed, I had them also check out the power steering problem, but found no issues, and could not duplicate the problem.

I drove the Explorer for a couple days with no issues. But the problem reappeared and I immediately took it back to the mechanic to diagnose. They pulled the codes on the fault, researched it, and after a few days gave me a quote to replace the entire gear assembly, along with tie rod ends and reprogramming. Parts are close to $1500 and labor and reprogramming added another $1000. While waiting for that estimate, the AdvanceTrac warning appeared and turned off that function. In addition, the turn signals will no longer engage completely, however, holding the turn signal slightly for left or right keeps the signals blinking, but stops as soon as I let the lever go.

- Dana G., San Marcos, TX, US

problem #22

Jan 012020

Explorer Sport 3.5L Turbo

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,899 miles


Recall for the exact same problem for previous years, but since my vehicle was manufactured in 12/12, the recall doesn’t include my vehicle.

- William J., Roanoke Rapids, NC, US

problem #21

Mar 012021

Explorer Limited 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,000 miles

Started vehicle and while backing up, Power Steering Assist Fault warning appeared and my power steering stopped. Was able to manually steer to a safe place, turned off vehicle and some time later turned it back on and power steering worked. Researched problem online, took vehicle to dealership and found that 2011-2013 Explorers were covered by recall 14S06, but not mine. Fix was replacing steering gear assembly for $3300. My vehicle was assembled at the same plant as those recalled but cutoff for recall was Feb 2012 and my Explorer was assembled that year in Dec.

Ford had another recall (15N01) for vehicles that had defective replacement gear assemblies installed in 2013 - 2014 by Ford. So Ford realized that there were vehicles with defective gears, replaced them with other defective gears, and then had to replace these with ones that work. This proves that Ford had a defective power steering gear assembly well after Feb 2012 cutoff for 14S06. But Ford is only willing to replace these defective parts for vehicles assembled before Feb 2012. Ford and NHSTA need to expand recall to all vehicles installed with these gear assemblies.

- Paul G., Phoenix, AZ, US

problem #20

Apr 152019

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

I first noticed the problem in May of 2019. I'd be driving and suddenly lose the ability to steer or turn. It would come back on but it did it a couple of more times oh, so we took it to a dealership. They looked up my VIN number and told me that it wasn't on there recall for my particular SUV but it was an issue that Ford was having. They told me that I had a recall on my back suspensions which was not giving me an issue. They gave me an estimate of almost $4,000 to repair with labor.

I took my vehicle back home and started to do research and realize that more than me was having this issue. I reached out to a corporate customer service number and they told me that because my vehicle wasn't made in the factory that the issue sit around was being reported in that it was my problem to fix. The more research I do I'm realizing that a lot of people having the same problem and it can't be a coincidence. I can understand if it was one or two complaints but there are so many on so many sites that is ridiculous and I think it's an issue that they need to fix.

I've been driving Fords since 1992 and every vehicle I own is a Ford and to have a company that I've supported for so many years pretty much turn their backs and not fix a situation when they know it's a big problem, highly disappoints me. At this point to safety by numbers and everyone needs to stand together and complain about these issues. I would definitely take the loss if it were just me or even a few more complaints but this is an issue that they need to pay attention to.

I have reached out to the corporate office and called as many numbers that I could find. I've filed as many complaint as I possibly could. At this point it becomes a matter of principle and I'm hoping that Ford will step up and do the right thing. Right now our country is in the middle of a pandemic and at this point I've lost all respect for Ford as an American company. With as many complaints as I've heard about and read it's definitely grounds for a huge lawsuit. They need to do the right thing.

- karma143, Shreveport, US

problem #19

Sep 072019

Explorer Limited 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles


I don't understand how select vehicles from the same model year affected by a recall can be excluded when they have the same parts fail that were on a recalled vehicle.

- Daniel H., Kearney, US

problem #18

Jan 012019

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

My 2013 Ford Explorer had issues with losing its GPS location and periodically reduced power steering (steering wheel was hard to turn). The power steering issue seemed to happen on very cold winter days. Eventually my battery failed and I replaced it. Since replacing my battery I haven't had either of these issues reoccur. I did notice that the factory battery was Motorcraft BXT 59 540 and the recommended replacement was Motorcraft BAGM 48 760. The latter has much greater Cold Cranking Amps and reserve capacity . I don't know if the bigger battery fixed my problems or the computers were "reset" by replacing the battery. But I know it wasn't just a coincidence.

I am a loyal Ford owner and stock holder. I noticed several complaints about power steering issues on various websites and consumers complaining about expensive fixes (replacing steering box, etc). If something as simple and relatively inexpensive as replacing a battery can fix a potentially dangerous issue like losing your power steering, I think it would be a very good thing for the company and the consumer.

- James G., Cotuit, US

problem #17

Jun 042019


  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,600 miles

We bought our 2013 Explorer used from a Ford dealership about 9 months ago. About 2 months ago, I was stopped at a red arrow and when I went to start to make a U turn, the steering crapped out on me. Scared me and once I saw the notice pop up that there was a power steering failure, I ended up pulling hard on the wheel to make a left turn, turned the car off and on again once I was in a safe spot, and the steering worked just fine.

I initially thought it was some weird glitch and because I had barely started to move when it happened, I didn't think much of it. Well, then it happened again and again and again. Every time since has been while I am backing up. Again, very very low speed, but it seems to be happening more and more frequently.

We finally brought it in and both people we spoke to said "oh yes, this will be under your warranty". Well, they called us and said, nope, not covered. Nor does it fall under the recall. $1800 to fix our car which we just bought from them less than a year ago when it went through all their rigorous testing. I am livid that Ford is doing nothing about this very dangerous failure on their car.

- poema304, Eagle, US

problem #16

Nov 142018

Explorer LX 3.2lV6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

Ford Recall 14S06: Loss Of Electric Power Steering Assist


- fleyva1950, Texas City, TX, US

problem #15

Sep 122018

Explorer Sport

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,000 miles


We bought this vehicle used with 24,000 miles and have had nothing but problems. The steering has gone out twice this time it is the Electric steering gear and the shop gave me the following estimate: Parts $1,345.78 and labor $425.70. There are many other problems, but I will add more post for those.

- josh_ski, Phoenix, US

problem #14

Aug 012018


  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,710 miles

While driving power steering failure. So many people have mentioned this issue, why is this not a recall ?!

Update from Aug 30, 2018: Cost me $3,000 to repair !

- Sachindra S., COQ, BC, Canada

problem #13

Jul 252018

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,500 miles

Power steering cut out as I was driving down the road causing me to swerve and slam on the brakes, then finally stop. Shut the car off, (calm down and figure out wtf just happened) then restart the car and drive home very slowly and extremely nervous in fear that it would happen again. After the incident the interior lights stayed on even after shutting the car off and restarting and driving 5 miles home. Happened again to my husband as he was driving to the dealership.

Ford has a recall on certain year Explorers with very similar sounding problems and incidents but my VIN is not covered. $1700 to replace the steering rack and I'm not sure I will ever trust the car again. Thankful that my kids weren't in the car, we weren't traveling on the highway and no one was coming toward me or walking on the side of the road. Very scary. Sounds like a common issue around this mileage.

- Carrie T., East Burke, VT, US

problem #12

Apr 042018

Explorer XTL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles

I took my Explorer in to get fixed it only has 59,000 miles on it. I leased it first, then bought it, HUGE mistake!!!!! I bought the Ford Super Premium care package for over $2600 and was told that nearly everything would be covered so no worries.

My steering started to get really difficult like I lost power steering, and it would be "skippy" when turning. I took it to my local Ford dealer not even thinking for one second that it wouldn't be covered...5 year old car, low miles, and mac daddy warranty, WRONG!!! They said it was "environmental" that it was rust and corrosion in my steering column. How am I supposed to prevent that??? What could I have done, Nothing!!!!!

Cannot believe that this huge corporation like Ford would treat it's customers like that. Did I mention I had to pay $135 for the diagnostic for them to tell that it wasn't covered and then want me to give them almost $1000 to fix something they should. NEVER! I would rather pay a small shop $2000 than to give Ford one more cent of my money.

- Eileen M., Rochester, NY, US

problem #11

Mar 142018

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 186,000 miles

Went online to find out that there is a recall on this issue for the year of my vehicle, but my build date is outside of the recall. I am going to attempt to call Ford on Monday hopefully there will be a solution because I think this is ridiculous since there is a brand new recall on 2017 models for the same exact thing.

- Holly W., Warren, US

problem #10

Oct 312017

Explorer Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,000 miles

There is a Ford Recall for this issue, and I have seen so many others with the exact same issue, that were told that their VIN number wasn't part of this recall. I am in the same boat. The exact same issue occurred with me, and the power steering failed going down a really windy road. Ford's website says...

The recall began on July 23, 2014. Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-800-392-3673. Ford's number for this recall is 14S06.

Like so many others, I called Ford and they said, sorry that my VIN wasn't included in the recall and therefore my car isn't affected... yeah, right. Bottom line, please take it to the nearest dealership and pay to have our mistake fixed... I have heard to expect between 1500-2000 to have it fixed. I bought the car 3 weeks ago. Great! They were supposed to have gone through it and checked everything out.

I am very disappointed, especially since I also own a 2007 King Ranch F150 and a 2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 4x4, and a 2000 Ford Expedition 4x4 XLT.



- Brian E., Tomball, US

problem #9

Apr 202017

Explorer XLT 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,000 miles


This started out as a grinding/rubbing noise in the steering, accompanied with sluggish steering control. Before I could get it to the shop, the symptoms worsened and the warning lights on the dash came on, indicating the need for steering service "now!". I stopped the vehicle, and then lost all ability to move the steering wheel, which had completely locked up, making the vehicle unable to drive. I towed it to my Ford service center, and was told that the steering gear box needed to be replaced for just under $1,700. Upon contacting Ford Customer Service, I was told that my particular year and model had not been recalled "YET". The rep explained that a recall required an (undisclosed) amount of customer complaints. My Ford service center attendant eluded to the same, after first making several attempts to place the blame on me, or the mileage.. but in the end it was clearly a defective part and/or design.

If your are or have experienced these same problems, please make an official complaint to Ford Customer Service at 1-866-436-7332 (direct line), and the NHTSA:

- Jhon M., Livingston, MT, US

problem #8

Oct 122016

Explorer LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,000 miles

There is a recall on 4WD and AWD Explorers. I have a 2WD and Ford said there was no recall on my VIN number. The fix for the recalled vehicles is the same as the fix was for mine...replacement of the steering gear, which was over $2,000. It appears Ford has purposely limited the recall to 4WD. I know from searches on the internet that there are many other 2WD owners that had the same problem. Disappointed!

- Steven M., Carrollton, US

problem #7

Jan 312017


  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,000 miles

Turing into driveway dash lit up fault codes, and vehicle lost steering. Let vehicle sit in garage for awhile was able to get it to the dealership where we bought it seven months ago, and was given the horrible news of the $1600. Fix and even though there is a recall my vin isn't part of it!!!

- Nate W., Hammond, WI, US

problem #6

Sep 052016

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,000 miles

I had my power steering fixed about a year ago and now in September the power steering went out again on my 2013 ford explorer. Something is wrong with the 2013 ford explorers because this is twice in less than a year and 2 months that its went out. I cant offered to get it fixed again so I'm going to have to wait to save up and drive with no power steering. First time it happened in may 2015 and paid a lot of money to get it fixed and now September 2016 power steering is out again. don't know what to do

- gabe1231, Dade City, FL, US

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