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fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
39,400 miles
Total Complaints:
7 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace steering gear (4 reports)
  2. not sure (3 reports)
2016 Ford Explorer steering problems

steering problem

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2016 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #7

Jan 152021

Explorer Sport 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,390 miles


It is very annoying to discover that a car worth $60k will decompose this fast, it's still running at no more than 55 k miles. Ford Explorer Electronic steering system; equipped in my 2016 Explorer Sport, has clearly indicated the failure of Ford ensure long term durability of its vehicles. I would simply conclude that such failure will definitely impact the reputation of Ford especially within the community of loyal customers. Such part should last for life or minimum 80k miles if I compared to the other Ford competitors.

My 2016 Ford Explorer Sport has started to show clicking in the steering wheel followed in a week time by abnormality in the steering capability of this vehicle and the steering wheel became difficult to maneuver. The steering wheel has also started to sound abnormal when trying to turn right or left.

Ford should make sure to genuinely design such a critical system or it is the end of my usage of vehicles from Ford.

- Abdulaziz A., Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

problem #6

Dec 052020

Explorer Limited Eco Boost

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,002 miles

I have a 2016 Ford Explorer Limited and just started noticing first a gear clicking sound while turning slowly and then a sound of like rubber rubbing against a tire. I went to a local Ford dealer and was told that it would cost $2,643!! I was unaware there were Nationwide problems until I Google search for the defects. I am currently waiting for the Ford printout analysis to show the codes verifying the fault. I am deeply concerned that so many other Ford Explorer owners are being handed the same quick responds "It will cost you over $2000."

Ford is apparently waiting for several people to be "KILLED" in an accident before taking ownership of the defect and correct the problem for free like with the of other defects with 2016 Ford Explorer.

Fortunately I don't have to drive by Explorer, but I feel strong empathy for the thousands of fellow Ford 2016 Explorer owners are being ripped off by the repair. The price for purchasing the 2016 Ford Explorer wholesale is currently $923. The cost then goes up to $1600 if the Ford installs in plus labor at $195 per hour for 5 hours. Plus an owner does not know if the so called "NEW REPLACEMENT STEERING COLUMN" is in fact new and improved without defects. I asked the Service Manager and Parts Manager and they both responded "I don't know!" WTF !!

I would not advise anyone to get their 2016 Ford Explorer repaired with seeing the unit before it is installed. Ford should be able to invoice for the part which should have a date of manufactured ,just like tires. Ford could be installing steering columns left over on the shelve from 2016 or using junkyard steering columns because once it is installed how will an owner know?

- Lorenzo V., Bowie, MD, US

problem #5

Dec 032018

Explorer Sport V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,000 miles

Having the same issue with the power steering gear box. Started hearing a popping sound when I turned it to the right. Dealership told me steering assembly, sway bars, and all the accessories that go with it need to be replaced. Not covered under warranty. Dealership quoted $4,000.00. Took it to private mechanic, he says sway bar is fine it's 100% steering gear box and Ford should cover it as it is defective. Going to try that route first...

- Lara R., Melissa, TX, US

problem #4

Aug 032018

Explorer 3.6L Ecoboost V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,000 miles


Our 2016 Explorer is only 2 1/2 years old, and less than 50,000 miles. Had to replace the tires at 35,000 miles, now I'm having a steering problem. Started as "stickiness" in the steering when driving at highway speeds, now have very pronounced loud clicking sounds at low speed and when locking out the steering from one side to the other, the steering will actually jump back a few degrees.

Spoke to the dealership, most likely a failure of the Electronic Power Steering Assist, requiring replacement of the Steering Rack. $2,600 repair, not covered under warranty. Are you kidding? I wouldn't expect these kinds of problems from a nearly $60,000 vehicle. From some of the other reports I have read, this is a severe safety concern. I'm not ready to pay to have it repaired, but don't feel safe driving it. I'm now back to driving my 12 year old pickup truck rather than my two and a half year old SUV.

- Jeremy P., Centreville, VA, US

problem #3

Jan 062018

Explorer LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,000 miles

I started hearing this squeaking sound whenever I turn the wheel slowly while moving in and out of a parking space. It was winter and I read online it might be dirt or something that I have it washed. After a couple of days, "steering wheel fail" flashed on my dashboard.

I called the Ford service center where I go to and bring it the following day. It was scary driving 35 miles back home since my 2 year old granddaughter is with me at the back with her mom. I drove 30 mph max I believe that night. Better to be really cautious than sorry.

After having it fixed, the squeaking sound is back after less than a month but is usually heard when I am turning the wheel slowly - but no warning on the dashboard though.

At this juncture, I'm thinking of giving it up and look for another car which will give me a complete piece of mind while on the road. The main reason I changed car every 5 years for this is my way to feel comfortable while on the road with my family.

Still, I hope Ford will do something about it soon and not wait for fatal accident to happen.

- Bonifacio A., Woodside, US

problem #2

Feb 122018

Explorer XLT 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,025 miles

I have several concerns regarding my 2016 Ford Explorer FWD 4DR XLT. The most recent, and most likely a related issue to the first occurrence/event, is a steering rack gear issue that is recommending to be replaced. This vehicle is used as a commuter vehicle- and occasionally used for delivering packages and small furniture for jobs/projects my wife does for her Interior Design business. We do not have teenage drivers that use this vehicle and we are religious about taking the vehicle in for regular maintenance. We garage the vehicle every day and make sure the vehicle is pampered and washed/detailed on a regular basis. I paint this picture because the issues we have encountered with this vehicle is the very first time we have purchased/leased a vehicle, in our over 40 years of purchasing/leasing new vehicles, and have had these issues (needless to say- our only Ford we have bought in our lifetime).

I have mentioned issues because we have had issues with the electronic digital screen malfunctioning and the issue, we feel has contributed to the most recent issue, was an event that occurred when my wife was driving home on a downward descent on the highway at 75 miles an hour on a two-lane highway with traffic in both lanes and only a narrow shoulder on the right, when the vehicle completely shut off on her along with the steering column inoperable. How she managed to safely steer the vehicle at that speed without power and proper braking capacity loss- and the wrench light fully on, was only short of a miracle (the saving grace was that the steering was still available- otherwise the miracle of her surviving on the highway may not have occurred). The vehicle was towed to the nearest dealer- 45 miles away to have it serviced. The issue that caused the shutting off of the car was repaired under warranty, but when we took the car in for the current issue (Steering rack gear), we were told it (the Electrical Throttle Body) was a recall when we brought back the car for the current issue (and we have the paperwork on the repair and no mention of a recall was stated).

Which brings us back to the current issue of the Steering Rack Gear- how does a less a 2-year old vehicle develop so many issues. We understand that a 36 month, 36,000 mile manufacturer’s warranty is in place, but what good does that do us when the vehicle continues to give us issues and we haven’t abused it? There should be some kind of explanation as to why this vehicle continues to be such a disappointment. As we mentioned prior, this is the very first Ford we have owned/bought/leased in our lifetime. We wanted to do the right thing and purchase an American-made vehicle that was dependable, yet here we are not trusting that we bought this car and wondering how to never buy another Ford again. We have had other vehicles that gave us minor problems, but were rectified with a longer manufacturer’s warranty. They were also foreign-made cars, not known for having mechanical issues. The other vehicle we have owned is a 2011 KIA Sportage that has over 131,000 original 1-Owner driven miles (us), and we have had only one issue with it, but it was repaired and nothing major to be dissatisfied about- can’t say this about our current situation.

We would like Ford Motor Company to make this right. We are strongly urging FMC to fix this problem before returning this lease. Otherwise, some other unsuspecting customer will be dealing with the same or other issues and will not want to buy another Ford like us. You may get several inquiries/complaints regarding your vehicles (and I hope you don’t), but may this be our last complaint either way this turns out. Hoping FMC does the RIGHT thing and help it owners’ rectify this issue before many others find out how FMC handles its customers legitimate concerns.

- David A., Arizona, United States, US

problem #1

Sep 302016

Explorer AWS 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,078 miles

The squeaky noise is on and off issue with my 2016 Ford explore which happen few times this year. It sounds like rubber on rubber during slow steering from inside of car. Looks like only happen during cold weather, since the problem is not happening 2016 summer. I have brought the car back to one of Mississauga dealer in Ontario Canada, they opened the steering wheel and made some tests but they didn't find anything. It happened again after the summer few weeks before. I will wait for the issue comes back and bring the car to the dealers.

After less than one I own the car, I have went to dealer 3 times for smart data card replacement, throttle body replacement and this steering wheel noise. This is my first Ford car and properly it is also the last one.


Ontario, Canada

- Lawrence R., Mississauga, ON, Canada

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