2016 Ford Explorer engine problems: loss of power while driving

Loss Of Power While Driving

2016 Ford Explorer (Page 1 of 3)

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

CarComplaints.com Seal Of This Might Hurt


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
8,550 miles
Total Complaints:
42 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace throttle body (22 reports)
  2. not sure (17 reports)
  3. replaced throttle body (2 reports)
  4. repair transmission (1 reports)
2016 Ford Explorer engine problems

engine problem

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2016 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #42

Dec 062018

Explorer Sport V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,000 miles


My wife, daughter and two of her friends were driving home after school when the car lost power. She pulled over to the side of the road then put the car in park and restarted it. She made it home safe.

I just got back from the Ford dealership. I dropped it off and they acted like they've never heard of this happening before. I told them that I googled what happened and it seems to be a common complaint. They said that they would look into it. I told them that this needs to be fixed because this problem can be extremely dangerous if the car was to lose all power on the freeway. I will be in touch with the corporate office tomorrow and will make sure that my complaint is filed and that I have it in writing. God forbid this happens to a family while on a busy freeway. Ford need to recall all explorers before something serious happens!

- Lance B., Dana Point, US

problem #41

Sep 082018

Explorer XLT V6

  • Manual transmission
  • 24,250 miles

On Saturday September 8th 2018 I was driving on the NYS thruway going around 70 mph when the car felt like it went out of gear. I looked at the speedometer and the car decelerated to 50 mph. I looked at the dash lights and it had the engine light wrench light and air bag lit up with see manual. I tried to accelerate and pushed the pedal all the way down and nothing. The car appeared to be in limp mode. Thank God a semi-truck was not behind me as my husband and I could have been killed. I was able to coast over to the side of the road and put it in park and turn the car off. I held the start button and it came on and I was able to hit ok on the buttons to clear it on the dashboard. I was able to drive it back home. I then called Ford that Monday and advised them of the issue and told them I did not feel safe to drive it out to them as they wanted to see it ASAP. They came and picked it up and I had told them I saw online that reading many complaints of this that it sounded like it could be a defective throttle body. They looked at the car and no code came up that anything had occurred with my car but that the filter near the throttle body was loose. They fixed that and told me that it was not what I had read and that it was safe to drive my car and it should not happen again....Well 5 days later it happened again!! This time I had my child in the car with me!! Thank God I was in a residential area where I was only going 15 mph when it went into limp mode again this time I could not get it to go at all. Called Ford again and they would look at it again!!! This was a very scary situation AGAIN!! I really hope this can be resolved this could have been a very bad outcome both times. It sounds like Ford is aware of this issue and have not done a safety recall. Hopefully they will find the issue!!

- Kelly F., Syracuse, US

problem #40

May 242018

Explorer 3.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,664 miles

I pulled out from my work place onto a fairly busy 4 lane road. Within 1/2 block, my vehicle lost power. Thank goodness I was in the right lane, and was able to immediately turn right and coast off to a side street. I shut the vehicle off, and tried again two different times to get it to move. The wrench picture and engine light was on, with a message to "check fuel in manual. " I was unsuccessful.

I contacted my husband who said he'd be there in 20 minutes. I waited another 10 minutes, tried it again, this time with success. However, I waited for my husband to arrive, and he followed me up the hill and approximately 4 blocks to the Ford dealership. I was afraid the car would lose power again, but we made it. I had to wait 4 days for the "fix." I'm not exactly sure what they replaced. ........but it was covered under warranty.

It is disheartening to find that this is a fairly common problem among these vehicles. Why hasn't Ford done some type of a recall? I am hoping that with this "fix" I will NEVER encounter this issue again. I am horrified to think what would have happened if I'd been on the freeway, and in the left lane!

- Mary Ann C., Tacoma, WA, US

problem #39

Jul 292016

Explorer Limited

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,902 miles


I was pulling out onto a major road with my 13 year old son and the power suddenly dropped to nothing. I quickly pulled the limping truck at 2 mph onto a side road and turn the truck off. I restarted the truck and it still was rumbling, shaking and wouldn't go faster than 5 mph. The truck limped into a bank parking lot and it was running so rough. I called Roadside Assistance and the went for a tow service. The tow service came about 2.5 hours after the call and towed it to the nearest dealer, not where I bought the truck and trust the service department. This happened on a Friday afternoon, about 4 and it is now Monday and they still have not looked at the truck. But the service manager did tell me that he believes he knows the part he needs and will order it so I can get my truck back.

Update from Aug 3, 2016: The dealer did replace the throttle body in my Explorer. He knew what the problem was by my explanation of the events.

Truck runs like a champ, hope it never happens again!

- Samantha P., West Milford, NJ, US

problem #38

Jan 212017

Explorer Limited

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,212 miles

Heading home after work with my wife's Explorer, pulled away from traffic light and lost all power, engine still running, but even with foot all the way to the floor, the vehicle was just barely moving. Was able to get over to side of road, shut off, waited a few minutes and then tried starting again, seems to work okay, not sure what problem was, just know it was very inconvient

- William T., Yellowknife, NT, Canada

problem #37

Mar 262017

Explorer Limited

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,616 miles

Left the house with wife and grand kids, turned from one street to another made the turn went about 20 feet and the car just died, stepped on fuel and nothing, could hear the engine running but no power at all with foot to the floor. Wrench light came on and my wife said that something came up about check the manual, but I was too busy trying to get the car out of the lane of travel before somebody ran into me. Thank God it was a quiet day for traffic or it may have been a bad accident. Got it over to side of road, shut it off, let it sit for a few minutes and tried to start to see if it would move, worked okay, made appointment at local

Ford Dealer and they said because I shut it off and started it back up they couldn't tell what the problem was. Wanted me to leave it for a week or so, to see if they could find the problem, as according to them this is the first time they have ever heard of this and their is nothing in Ford Canada's system about it. Starting to think I should have stayed with Chrysler/Dodge, not impressed one bit.

- William T., Yellowknife, NT, Canada

problem #36

Aug 262016

Explorer AWS 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,835 miles


The car suddenly lost all power during the driving, I barely move car to the shoulder. the is wrench light on. I turned off the car and restarted it (it took few tries to restart the car.) The car can be started by with engine light on. I drove the car to the dealer next Monday and they told me the replaced the throttle body. I have a friend has the same 2016 ford explorer and met the same issue. I think Ford known it problem and just don't want to take any action. I feel disappoint with ford since I have brought this car to dealers 3 times within one year.

- Lawrence R., Mississauga, ON, Canada

problem #35

Oct 052016

Explorer XLT 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,200 miles

Was traveling on I-96 at 60-65 MPH fairly heavy traffic in the left center lane. The wrench light and check in light came on and loss of acceleration. Luckily was able to move to the left shoulder without incident. The engine was running very rough and I shut the engine off. The wrench light message gave a message to check manual. I started to call for roadside service and was on hold for a short amount of time. I hung up and tried to start the car as I was approximately a mile from the next exit. I was able to start the car. The wrench light was off but the check engine light remained on. I was able to get the car to accelerate normally and decided to try and get to the next exit. I was able to cross to the right lanes but the same thing happened and was not able to make it to the exit but at least I was on the right shoulder.

My opinion is that this issue could be a big hazard. I was fortunate to have traffic that was light enough to allow me to maneuver but if this were to happen while making a left hand turn across traffic, heavy traffic or close following traffic this could have been a bad accident.

Will update when fixed. It was dropped off on Wednesday night, dealership did not get to it Thursday and it is now Friday afternoon.

- Mark P., Wolverine Lake, MI, US

problem #34

Sep 162016

Explorer XLT 2.3L Litre

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,500 miles

Purchased this vehicle in July of 2016. Ran good for 2 months and than every once in awhile you would go to pass someone or try to enter the freeway from the on ramp and nothing. The engine stays running at idle but no acceleration. As you play with the accelerator it spits and sputters and than will eventually accelerate. This has probably happened about 6-8 times now. Have taken to the Dealer with no satisfaction, all they tell you is can't duplicate condition and no codes stored. This is a dangerous problem that Ford needs to address, but I'm sure because there aren't a lot of complaints they're going to wait till someone dies in an accident before they investigate the problem.

- JAMES P., Novelty, OH, US

problem #33

Nov 232016

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,000 miles

Purchased in January 2016. Explorer currently has just under 6,000 miles. While driving approximately 35 miles an hour on a busy road in San Antonio the vehicle power shut down. A wrench light came on asking that we read the manual. We were almost hit by another vehicle. My husband turned the key off and then on twice only to gain the ability to move forward at about 5 miles per hour. We got off the busy road and onto a side street. We were almost hit again by a huge truck. It was horrifying. He turned the vehicle off a third time. When he turned the key to start, the vehicle did come back on to full power although service lights were now on panel.

Did research only to find the exact diagnosis of a defective throttle body that seems to be an ongoing problem with this vehicle. We took the vehicle into the Ford dealer and told him about the numerous complaints on this site. The manager said it had happened to him as well with his wife and children in the car. We asked about how many vehicles have had this problem and he said approximately 20%. We asked about a recall on the part? He said there was none because not all of the vehicles have this problem. I was not comfortable with that answer. Does Ford not realize that this is a seriously dangerous situation? Will someone have to die (if they haven't already) before Ford recalls?

The manager at Ford agreed that there should be a recall. He also said Ford would have to see if it was a computer problem first. I demanded they replace the throttle body and they did. We're picking up the car today and I'm hoping never to have the problem again, however, I'm not sure I'm going to feel completely safe in this car. I am taking this problem a step further by writing to Ford headquarters and to the United States Office of Consumer Affairs (I believe is authority over them) to document this serious issue. I also recommend you do the same if it's happened to you. Thank you for this site. It's very informative.

- Deborah D., San Antonio, TX, US

problem #32

Nov 182016

Explorer Platinum 3.5L EcoBoost

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,500 miles


Driving at highway speed when suddenly my 2016 Explorer lost power when I attempted to pass another vehicle. My instrument display lit up and read something like "Terrain management system fault - check owners manual" message on left hand side LCD cluster. This message stayed lit for under a minute and was replaced with a little orange wrench. Anyway, its Friday morning and I was able to limp 25 miles back to my dealer where they took all of my information and sent me on my merry way.

Well that Friday afternoon I received a call from Ron, the service department manager, who advised me that a "Snap Ring" within the transmission had failed and that the transmission had to be broken down and repaired.

Anyway, in reading all of the different problems with Ford and there many engine issues my problem seemed to be more like a "Throttle Body" failure. Hopefully I get my explorer back next week but only time will tell.

- Chuck O., Chicago, IL, US

problem #31

Oct 012016

Explorer 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,287 miles

click to see larger images

loss of power while driving loss of power while driving


(new car--purchased in November 2015---CURRENT mileage on odometer: 6287)

- Cristina S., Irvine, CA, US

problem #30

Apr 122016

Explorer XLT 4x4 3.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,000 miles

So we purchased our Explorer January 1st 2016. We have since had the throttle body replaced and the transmission fixed leaving it in the shop for a total of 60 days. On top of that the dealership scratched the truck both times we brought it in for an oil change. That took a total of 15 days for paint both times. We have since contacted Ford and filed a complaint. They have agreed to buy the vehicle back and reimburse us for all the payments we have made as well as pay the vehicle loan off completely. We will be returning the vehicle to the dealership this month and will buy a different vehicle. The issues with the truck has been a major pain, but we feel as if Ford has stepped up to make it right for us.

- matt_address, Peoria, AZ, US

problem #29

Oct 272016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,500 miles

I was driving and the yellow wrench light went on and my engine lost power. The car was running, but it would not accelerate. Luckily I was on a side street a few houses away from home. It had to be towed to the dealership. I will find out the results tomorrow.

- Sue S., Rocky River, OH, US

problem #28

Sep 012016

Explorer Sport V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,000 miles

Car began chugging and lugging, especially when pulling hills at approx. 1000 miles. Took to a dealership and they replaced the throttle body. Problem has decreased but still remains. It acts like a standard transmission vehicle and feels like the RPMs are not high enough to pull, because when I have it in sport mode and keep the RPMs above 2000, it doesn't do it, or at least I can't feel it. I've noticed that the transmission shifts very early, never higher than 2000 rpms, and remains around 1500-1800 rpms when driving. That seems low to me but I'm not a mechanic. I just want this problem fixed!! It's a huge annoyance and I wonder when its going to completely crap out on me. No engine light so far, and I'm taking back to dealer for re-inspection. Hopefully Ford will get their sh*t together and fix the problem!! Brand new 50k dollar vehicle!

- Melinda L., Elkins, WV, US

problem #27

Oct 052016

Explorer Limited 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,981 miles

Traveling north on the Loop 101 at approx. 72 MPH when the car suddenly decelerated to about 20 MPH. Engine light came on with the wrench stating that I need to read the manual and the airbag light came on. Well have to ever tried to maneuver through three lanes of traffic going over 70 MPH and they want you to read the manual!! I called Ford Roadside assistance. What a waste of time!! Took an hour and a half to finally have a tow truck appear.

You pay $50,000 for a vehicle and it breaks down after 10,000 miles and then they don't even care about getting you the help you need. It's in the shop today so I am waiting for them to call and tell me if they have found anything. Then they give me this little Fiesta to drive. It's like driving a skateboard. Can't even fit in the dam thing. I can see that there are many notices about this same issue.

- kiotklr, Peoria, AZ, US

problem #26

Oct 042016

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 9,000 miles

My car is shutting off acceleration everyday on the way to and from work during rush hour traffic at speeds above 65 mph. I have to try not to crash and pull over the side of the road. Yesterday the dealership performed a software update they hoped would fix it. It didn't. Today they are test driving it to see if it is the throttle control part or something else. I am scared to drive it and wish I could just sink the money I have lost on paying for it the past couple of months and get my Jeep I traded in back. Very dangerous and disruptive.

- smithdd, Chesterfield, VA, US

problem #25

Apr 132016

Explorer LX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,700 miles

My wife was trying to pick up the kids from 2 different schools, miles apart, and then bring the kids to her mom's house to watch them while my wife went back to work. This left my wife stranded and we had to call a tow truck, get towed in, get a rental car from the dealership. The worst part is this was just the beginning of the issues. I bought a brand new car so I wouldn't have to worry about my wife being stranded with the kids and the brand new car had less than 4,000 miles.

- Chuck P., Bradenton, FL, US

problem #24

Aug 122016

Explorer XLT 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 9,456 miles

While driving through Kalamazoo. MI at rush hour on I-94, we suddenly lost engine speed. We had to glide to the expressway shoulder at 5 mph......VERY unsafe for all. We count our blessings that no one was hurt. The powertrain fault (wrench) light was illuminated along with check owners manual. The engine/transmission would only permit us to limp along at 5 mph. We were extremely fortunate to be near an exit, so we limped along to a gas station. We called Ford Roadside Assistance and arranged a tow to Zeigler Lincoln in Kalamazoo. We only have great things to say about Zeigler....very professional and helpful--a real class outfit. It was late in the day, so Zeigler helped us arrange a rental vehicle with which to get home (we live in Ann Arbor about 100 miles away). Zeigler called the next day and informed us they changed out a defective throttle body and the Explorer was fixed (again, only great things to say about Zeigler!). We picked up the Explorer and it has been fine since.

We keep hearing and reading chatter about Explorer throttle body problems and possible issues with associated software. IS THIS PROBLEM TRULY FIXED OR DO WE RISK GOING THROUGH THIS AGAIN?? My wife has a trip to Chicago this coming week and no way will I let her drive this Explorer until we feel confident this doesn't recur. We leased this vehicle with the likelihood that we would buy it at the end of the lease, but purchasing this vehicle is not an option now.

- George H., Ann Arbor, MI, US

problem #23

Aug 222016

Explorer LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,500 miles

Driving in rush hour traffic with my 6 month old daughter my engine just shut off in the middle lane. A wrench light and seat belt warning came on and my suv stalled. My brand new 2016 Ford Explorer that I specifically leased for the safety of my daughter almost got both of us killed. I am furious, I had a great Buick prior with no issues and traded it in for this Explorer. I looked into my options since I am not scared to death to drive in it and I am basically screwed. The tow truck which was covered took me to the closest Ford dealer, they of course had no loaners, so now I am without a car and super stressed. After reading many reviews online, this problem seems to keep occurring, Ford needs to do a recall.

- Jamie G., Woonsocket, RI, US

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