really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
99,950 miles
Total Complaints:
3 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (2 reports)
  2. replace harmonic balancer and crank sensor (1 reports)
2004 Ford Explorer Sport Trac engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Sport Trac Owner Comments

problem #3

Aug 162014

Explorer Sport Trac 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 179,000 miles


Let it be officially recorded hitherto and forever known henceforth that I have ALWAYS been Ford true, with blood running Ford blue... until NOW. It pains me to make this statement, yet my recent history with FoMoCo and their vehicles has left me... stranded, literally.

Mid July '14 - I'm heading to my new job(brief history/story setting... imagine, if you will, I'm at 7yrs post life altering divorce and struggling to provide a a new beginning for my two sons), and as I sit in pole position in the right lane of a heavy traffic light my engine rpm falls low, the engine chugs, and shuts down. The light is green. I'm in the right lane. HEAVY traffic swerving around me. The fact that I MUST be on time pales in comparison to the vehicles rocketing up behind me as I sit there helplessly trying to restart the engine. As my eyes are glued on my rear view mirror and the fear of pending rear impact sinks in, I reluctantly accept the fact that I can't safely exit my truck, nor will it restart. Note that it has been welded into my psyche that my Ford ALWAYS cranks when I turn the key... until now.

My worry of being late to my job becomes reality, I CAN NOT be... late, yet I'm SO thankful I haven't burst into flames at this point from rear collision. Amazingly as I find a break in traffic screeching around me I fling the door open and make a dash for the street corner for safety as I call for a tow... truck. I hope his truck starts, pshh. Seriously, hazard lights are for warning others as I pull stranded vehicles to safety in snow storms... not as I await a tow truck having scrambled for my life.

Outcome - I get a call the next day from my well trusted yet only used his services once... mechanic. The call goes like this, "I thought you said it won't crank?... yeah? ...I understand, but there are NO codes showing up(WHAA?) and the truck started up for us fine this morning. We've checked everything and are coming up blank. No charge, its ready for pick up." So, with flashbacks of nearly dying in a stranded vehicle in a major intersection I immediately requested they do a FULL tune up, clean the fuel rail, check all ignition, injectors, fuses, fuel pump, circuits, pcm, etc, and double check everything... again. He agreed. Unbelievably, no issues found. That's odd? I distinctly recall narrowly escaping pending doom yesterday and NO codes??? NO trace of WHY???

Update - after a total tune up and turning my truck inside out looking for the answer to "why?" I then spend the next month counting the times my truck shuts down on me... while turning, at traffic lights, drive throughs, and sputters with clear momentary shutdown IN TRAVEL at highway speed. Totally puzzled, beyond frustration, and day by day cursing the hard earned money I paid my once beloved Ford truck, on Aug 16, 2014 the Ford "gremlin" finally exposes itself. As I was leaving my job, the one I VERY thankfully did not lose, I turned my key to head home to my boys... but there was no cranking it.... only thing it would do is turn over... again... wait 10sec... again... volts good, gauges good... nothing... kind of like the explanation my ex-wife gave me 7 years ago... nothing. Second tow call. This was on Saturday, evening. Monday I get a call from my mechanic, "Ok, we found what was causing it." I replied, "Le'me guess... fuel pump failed?" He answered, "Nope, but good guess, actually the harmonic balancer has somehow deteriorated or catastrophically failed... odd thing is there's no reason for it, no oil leaks, no power steering leaks that would deteriorate the inner core? Oh, and that's what was causing it to stall, shut down, sputter, etc because it was wearing away at the crank sensor. Sorry we didn't catch it in time when we looked it over before." I said, "WOW??? so the harmonic balancer just... fails. For no reason. And puts people's lives at risk by ipso-facto destroying a crank sensor that SHUTS THE ENGINE OFF WITHOUT WARNING INSTANTLY WITHOUT WARNING WITH ABSOLUTELY CALLOUS ENGINEERING OR SLIGHTEST CONCERN FOR PEOPLE'S SAFETY???!!!". He said, "Yep, not one code... not a one." Brace yourself Ford lovers around the world for what he said next, "...that's not all(I hear keyboard pecking noises over the phone)... yep, here we go. Looks like Ford has been aware of this problem for quite sometime... along with many other dangerous issues... but hang on(pecking sounds)... oh??? surely not???!!! what??? NO RECALLS???!!!"

So. My username. NoMoFoMoCo. No More Ford Motor Company. It greatly saddens me... you have no idea. Zero. I struggle, day by day, providing a future, a roof, shelter, a "home", a hope for my boys... slowly rebuilding all we lost. The financial burden Ford's callousness has placed on me sickens me... but it pales in the realization that I have escaped death in a faulty product, as well as many of you have, by the grace of God while Ford Motor Company turns their back on their customers. Made in America used to mean something. Pride in a job well done. Quality and longevity of the product ensures company stability and ultimately consumer satisfaction. Sirs, a safe and stable future for this nation, the world, our children, should outweigh windfall profit margins and greedy gain.

My total expenses involved in this Ford Fiasco, as I pray my 4.0L engine stays together? ...$1440.00. That hurt. Or is this harmonic balancer failure a precursor to other catastrophic engine failure that you, Ford, already know WILL happen? Yes, I've been blessed it's lasted this long... but that doesn't excuse your callous big business cold shoulder for ignoring the safety and financial suffering of your customers. Remember, we, the little people? consumer? the ones that help make you successful... it's been a successful relationship. The future of such is up to you. Do the right thing.

Personally, I have one word for you. Accountability. Actually two. Inexcusable.

- nomofomoco, Taylors, SC, US

problem #2

Sep 142011

Explorer Sport Trac 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,788 miles

Driving home from work when engine started misfiring and died. Had been making a noise and mechanic said he thought it was timing chain tensioner. After engine died, was told that I had blown the engine. Bought a replacement and was pulling engine, when problem was discovered. Put wrench on cranshaft to rotate engine and pulley was about to fall off. Ford, when are you going to admit YOU'VE GOT A PROBLEM?

- Larry S., Camden, NC, US

problem #1

May 212009

Explorer Sport Trac XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 19,000 miles

Harmonic Balancer went bad May 2009, just under 19,000 miles on my 2004 ST! Left my family and I stranded on I-95 in Philadelphia. Ford has sold a lot of replacements but won't issue recall or TSB. The serpentine jumped off the balancer pully and landed on the rubber mount of the balancer then ate through the sensor.

Jan 21, 2010: Started up the ST, no problem. Drove one block, stopped at stop sign. Made right turn and accelerated, then the ST died; 22,000 miles. Just before it lost all power in the engine, I heard what sounded like a turbine quickly decelerating. Now I turn the key, hear the starter clicking, and nothing happens with the engine. Towed to FORD dealership. There was a rattle just before this happened.

FORD service dept. rep called me late yesterday and said it may be attributed to poor installation of harmonic balancer, possibly not torqued correctly; sounded like passing the buck. He needed permission to pull the front of the engine apart to look inside, I gave him a green light to do so.

He just called today and said the "key way and sprocket" are bad. He said they come in a kit with a new timing chain; parts and labor after a friendly discount: $925. The truck is already there and apart, so I gave them the go ahead to fix it. Normal price would have been about $1100. Sucks to be me!

Strange, they have a "repair kit" to fix this particular issue, but FORD says there is no problem with the engine! Harmonic balancer goes bad, fix it with new and improved one. Then this happens, fix it with new and improved parts from a "repair kit"! There are no known problems with this engine....more BS from FORD!

Time to call FORD customer service I suppose.

- celtic1mike, Haddon Heights, NJ, US

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