pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
43,850 miles
Total Complaints:
18 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace power steering assembly (5 reports)
  2. replace steering rack (5 reports)
  3. not sure (4 reports)
  4. replace steering gear assembly (2 reports)
  5. vehicles requires a new steering assembly (2 reports)
2016 Ford Explorer steering problems

steering problem

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2016 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #18

Jul 262019


  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,326 miles


My 2016 Explorer has been the biggest POS I've ever owned. I started having steering problems at 16k miles. It has been in & out of my local ford service center 6 times for steering issues. Each time I'm told if it's not giving a code at the time i bring it, there's nothing that can be done. On July 27, 2019 at 46363 miles my steering decided to finally stop working all together. I had it towed to the dealership & was told it needs a new steering gear. Would have been nice if they figured it out while still under bumper to bumper warranty.

- Emily B., Fulton, US

problem #17

Jul 092019

Explorer Sport V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,000 miles

The steering failure light came on about 2 weeks ago. I brought the car to dealer and they said it was the battery, not putting out the right voltage. I paid for the battery. Today, I actually lost steering and almost crashed into sidewalk. The lights also came on saying terrain assist and hill assist disabled (was not using) I am really shaken up. My son just started driving too, and this is the car available to him. Don't know if he would have had enough experience to handle loss of steering. I see a lot of recalls for earlier years but none for 2016. I am thankful no one was hurt, but not really too comfortable with the dealer saying its a voltage issue. I think this should be a recall. Waiting to hear what the dealer says now.

- Karen F., W Hempstead, US

problem #16

Apr 272019

Explorer Explorer 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,706 miles

Warning light came on "Service Advance Trac" "Steering Loss" and the steering wheel locked up. Towed in. At 37,706 miles had to replace rack and pinion gear assembly. Ford does not acknowledge this is a major and common safety failure. Urge all who have experienced this to file a complaint with NTSB.....potential fatal failure.... and according to the dealer this is a known, common problem.

- Tom M., Liberty, MO, US

problem #15

Jan 212019

Explorer XLT 3.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,000 miles


2016 Ford Explorer, around 40,000 miles my complained about a noise coming from the steering and I never heard. now at 81,000 miles driving to work on the hwy the power steering failure light came on along with several other lights informing me to pull over and stop safely. I had the truck towed to Quirk Ford in Quincy Ma. which is the dealer I purchased it from and have all my services done and they informed that there is no recall for this. After reading all the other complaints I can't believe no one hasn't been seriously injured. If my wife or daughter had been driving the truck, they wouldn't have been able to steer the truck over to the breakdown lane. I was handed a bill of $2.750 for a new rack install. I have filed a complaint with Ford Customer Care and hoping they cover some of the cost.

- Richard W., Bridgewater, US

problem #14

Nov 142018

Explorer XLT 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,100 miles

We put this in the dealer for service on Jan. 2nd and are still in a rental on Jan. 19th. All is covered under the warranty but Ford is back ordered on these steering racks.The service mgr. said he would not let us drive it anymore after I offered to pick it up and wait on the rack to get here. He said it was in a bad bind. Apparently this is a problem because parts are not available. I have more miles on it than most on here. Not so good for Ford to have this reputation on a vehicle upwards of $46k. It also needs a seat heater and blend door actuator for passenger side. Extended warranty is the only way to go buying a newer vehicle these days. We love it so far but glad we bought it 2yrs old and almost half the price with 48k mi.on it. We will see what else happens but so glad we spent 3k on a bumper to bumper warranty for 7yrs or 70k mi from date of our purchase. So good till 120k mi. Good luck to you people looking at this. Cold weather really makes it act up. Popping noise is what gave it away. I have mechanical experience and thought it was an axle. Also only did it on right hand turns.

- Roger B., Bedford, US

problem #13

Jan 042019

Explorer Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

Read about others having similar issue with their steering and wanted to add mine to the story. Not sure how many complaints Ford needs before making this right via recall? Or perhaps it will take a devastating accident to get their attention.

Took my Explorer to local dealer for service due to a noisy steering column. The dealer called me later that day and informed me that the entire steering rack must be replaced and will cost $1750.00.

I have been a loyal Ford guy and this is my second Explorer. I am very disappointed as my first Explorer had over 150,000 miles when I traded it and never had a major mechanical issue.

- Rod K., Clinton, IL, US

problem #12

Nov 142018

Explorer Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 39,420 miles


Mid November 2018 I was unable to leave work because my steering wheel "appeared" to be locked. My tire pressure was 10lbs light due to the changes in temperature and it was around 10 deg. Eventually I was able to drive it as it warmed up. Two weeks later it happened again in my driveway, unable to turn the wheel at all. Tire pressure fine and temps up to 35 deg. I called the dealership and long story short they told me there is nothing they can do until it happens again. I said, let me get this straight I need to be broke down somewhere, in the winter, with the chance of my toddler being with me, for you to address this issue. They said unfortunately, yes.

3 weeks after I reported this happenings, I was driving in rush hour traffic, on a one lane road and lost all power steering. The "advance trac" light came on and hill assist and traction control. I was able to pull off on to a side road, barely and throwing my back out in the process. Slush covered roads, driving and manually needing to turn my vehicle was almost impossible. I am lucky to have gotten off the road.

I am out of warranty and the dealership has not called me back. I have found 71 reported issues of this from the 2014-2016. How can this not be a recall, how is this something owners who buy a luxury SUV should be required to pay out of pocket. This is absolutely insane and I plan on fighting it. I will update this thread as the process goes on.

Update from Dec 14, 2018: My vehicle was towed to the dealership I purchased it from the night I lost steering 12/7. I attempted to work with Ford directly to assist in this repair, as it was not covered under warranty, this happened at 40k miles. They refused to do anything. The dealership went to Ford for assistance opened up a case. My frustration is my input was not requested for this. I told the dealership there are over 100 filed cases with this issue and Ford needs to look into a recall. Total cost of the repair $1700. The dealership got Ford to reduce the cost of the part from 1300 to 1000 and Ford agreed to $400 of assistance. Bringing my out of pocket to roughly $1k. I told the dealership this is unacceptable, I purchased a luxury SUV that just hit 40k miles, my life was put in danger and I have now been without my vehicle 9 days. They went back to Ford and Ford said this is final, we are doing no more. (things to consider before ever buying a Ford again). The dealership is now escalating to find out what more they can do.

- Shelbie C., Carthage, US

problem #11

Aug 222018

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,000 miles

We purchased the USED 2016 Explorer from Sheehy Ford for our 16 year old son. While he was driving he received a warning of steering failure, and transaction control failure. He tried to drive however, the steering became hard to steer. He pulled to the side of the road. He shut off the vehicle and when he restarted it the message was gone. He was able to make it home. The next day he started the vehicle again and received the same message. There were no steering other than manual which was quite difficult to steer.

The vehicle had to be towed to the local Ford dealership. Not the original dealership that we purchased the vehicle from. The dealership said it was a "internal electronic failure in the steering rack". A computer module that needed to be replaced at $2,150. The Explorer only has 44,173 miles and is only 2 years old. We purchased the Explorer figuring it would be a good, safe, reliable vehicle. Considering he could have been hurt while driving and the steering went out has me thinking to get rid of it ASAP.

- Annette S., Falmouth, US

problem #10

Jul 252018

Explorer Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 24,000 miles

Dealer couldn't find the problem. Also the navigation went out twice, still not working. Now something is draining the battery and outside mirrors don't work right. With 24k miles shouldn't be having these issues on a $50,000 auto.

- pete/dublin ca, Dublin, US

problem #9

Aug 112018

Explorer Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles

click to see larger images

power steering failure

Let’s start with the fact that we’ve had steering issues from the start with this vehicle. We paid $700 to fix or bandaid the problem last month. So, when it came time for our summer vacation we actually considered renting a car because we still didn’t think it was right. Rent a vehicle when we have an almost brand new vehicle in the garage with a $500 a month car payment?!?!

Against our better judgment, we took it from PA to FL, well almost. Along I-95 in South Carolina at about 11pm the steering seized with our family in the car. We had to get a hotel room, rent a car and leave the POS in SC to continue our vacation. It’s now almost 3 weeks in and it’s still in SC.

We’ve always been foreign car people. We had a Honda Pilot for 12 years, never a problem with it. If there was a problem, it was covered by the awesome warranty or it was a recall. Lots of recalls, manufacturer and Honda. Which, up till now I thought was a pain in the ass! Now, I get that at least they have enough integrity to have recalls! Ford motor Company has the worst warranty and 0 integrity!

We loved the look and feel of this vehicle. Looks definitely aren’t everything...lesson learned. We will take the loss on trading it in and going back to Honda, Toyota or Nissan to keep our family safe. I guess Ford is waiting for a fatality?!?!

- Jacqui L., Auburn, US

problem #8

Aug 092018

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,332 miles


My 2.5 year old vehicle with 60,000 miles on it left my son and i in a parking lot with no steering! We had taken a 2 hour trip to visit my daughter at college and were on our way home when we stopped for a bite to eat. Got back in the car and my dashboard was lit up with all kinds of messages - hill start assist not available, steering assist fault service required, terrain management system fault, service advancetrac - no matter what I tried, I could not steer the vehicle.

What if that happened while I was driving? What if it happened on a city street? What if that happened in the parking garage? It left on a rollback and was taken to the dealer where I bought the vehicle. The entire steering rack needed to be replaced and it needed an alignment. I asked if Ford would cover it since the vehicle is only 2.5 years old and was told "no, things break".

I got a call from the garage the next day with my service representative giggling saying how he had a hard time moving it around in the parking lot! Cost me $2004 not covered by Ford and in addition to that cost I needed to rent a vehicle for another $237! No warning that the steering was going. No indication there might be a problem. No compassion from the garage. No acknowledgement from Ford admitting there is a problem. I bought a new vehicle so I could feel safe and not worry about being stranded - hah, not so with this one! Stay away from this vehicle!

- familyof7, Bangor, US

problem #7

Jul 302018

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

2 Years with my Ford Explorer on family vacation to the beach. On way home with wife and 3 kids in car, lost power steering control on the highway doing 75 MPH. The wheel wouldn't even turn. 60000 miles on the vehicle only. Had to have vehicle towed to nearest dealership and the fix is now 2300 plus tax.

What recourse do I have since I am out of warranty? This was extremely dangerous and scary..please advise if anyone else has faced this issue and gotten a reimbursement.

- Matthew J., Salisbury Mills, US

problem #6

Jun 292018

Explorer Xlkt V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,422 miles

I went into Ford Dealership because of OTHER Recalls on the vehicle and asked them to look at the power steering as it was getting "loud". I was then told that the power steering "gear" was bad ~ and it would cost near $1,900 to fix! It is NOT covered under warranty and I have only 54,000 miles on my car. When I asked if it was ok to drive it - yes it was safe.

As time as continued, it now shimmy's like crazy and on occassion will freeze or stick. I can move the wheel eventually but it is scary. I am afraid that it will ruin the front tires if this vibration is out in the wheels as well.

- kdebdo, FREEPORT, US

problem #5

Apr 232018

Explorer Limited

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

In for regular service and oil change, and upon receipt of the car- funny noise from the steering. Then definitely a reversion to manual steering (because the power steering went out), like driving a car on rails. Frightening. Dropped off at dealer, need to replace entire steering "gear" -- I assume this is the same problem that other owners have had, at around the same mileage. Unfortunately the worst side effect of this EXPENSIVE problem is now my other half refuses to ever buy a domestic car again, and I had my heart set on a Mustang. Thanks Ford.


A lifelong fan no longer.

- G C., Fitchburg, US

problem #4

Jun 072018

Explorer Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,000 miles

My wife was driving our 2016 Ford Explorer limited (61,200 miles- but less than 2 yrs old) near home at approx. 25mph, slowed down, and attempted to make a turn onto our street & the vehicle locked in the turn. She had to slam on the breaks to avoid crashing into the ditch & then was able to straighten the wheel. We called the dealership where we bought it right away who wasn't able to take it in (another complaint against them) so we called another and then had it towed to them. They were able to duplicate the issue with the power steering, and said it was the steering gear assembly. We had the dealership complain to Ford for us since it was a safety issue & after researching we found that other people have experienced this same issue- but Ford declined to help.

I can't imagine what this would have been like had we been on the freeway. This is a serious failure that could have hurt or killed people. How is this not a recall?

- Jerry A., Edgewood, WA, US

problem #3

Mar 282018

Explorer XLT 3.2L V

  • Automatic transmission
  • 17,000 miles

Coming from work and turning on to secondary road when power steering assist quit, causing me to run off the road. Under other conditions I could have been seriously injured or killed

Ford needs to recall and fix this problem. There are multiple complaints out there

- Edward R., Versailles, US

problem #2

May 112016

Explorer Platinum 3.5L Ecoboost V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,900 miles

On a recent 100 mile trip, I stopped for coffee and when I returned to the vehicle and started the engine, we immediately got a "Power Assist Malfunction" warning light. After clearing that message we got a "Lane Keeping System Failure" warning light. Essentially this meant that we had no power steering assist.

I got the vehicle to a dealer about 40 miles away. The next day I learned that the problem was an internal PSCM failure also know as the electronic power steering gear assembly. Was given repair validation code to replace unit from Ford which is RVC#RPLF3RP4T872Q. Electronic power steering assembly part #FB5Z-3504-K has been ordered emergency car down however, part is on a nation wide back order with no eta.

So now..... 4 weeks later, still no part for repair, still no ETA for part, and our Explorer is still down, stored outside in the weather at the dealer !! No answers even from the Ford regional rep who took 3 weeks to make contact with us.

Update from Jun 23, 2016: Update... It's been (6) weeks and still no power steering part for the warranty repair. Now Ford says that will not pay for all of our rental car expense. The part is supposed to be in transit, but that has been the case for over (2) weeks now. Ford customer service rep, Susan Miller has been absolutely no help in expiditing our warranty repair or making sure we have transportation. Basically they don't care.....and reminded us that technically according to Ford's warranty they are not responsible for our transportation expenses.

Six weeks without warranty repairs !! I wonder if this is the start of another Ford Explorer power steering recall ???

- Michael G., San Francisco, CA, US

problem #1

May 272016

Explorer Limited 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 19,000 miles

Power steering went completely out. This is a very early 16 purchased July 15. Occasional warning light which would go right out then steering went out and power steering was gone along with blind spot monitoring warning being displayed.

Got it to Ford dealer and found out no parts available for 3 weeks. This is just another string of the steering issues. Supposedly being re-engineered? Owned 98, 02, 05,08,11,13 & 16 and never had any trouble till now.

Dealer gave me a car to use.

- G R., Boca Raton, FL, US

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