Ford's Expedition EL is a huge SUV capable of carrying nine passengers, their luggage and still tow a heavy trailer. For the most part, the EL succeeds. It has a roomy third-row seat, it handles reasonably well, and it accelerates strongly while towing our 5,000-pound test trailer. However, the Expedition's ride is stiff, it gets low fuel economy and the engine frequently sounds coarse and strained.
Alerts
There are 3 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Reliability

Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how used vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system.

Overall Reliability
Most Common Trouble Spots
Common Trouble Spot
Common Trouble Spot
The 2012 Ford Expedition has been recalled 3 times by NHTSA. View Recalls
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01
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07*
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15*
16
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18*
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Overall Reliability Verdict
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Potential Trouble Spots
Engine Major
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Engine Minor
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Engine Cooling
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Transmission Major
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Transmission Minor
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Drive System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Fuel System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Electric System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Climate System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Suspension
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Brakes
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Exhaust
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Paint/Trim
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Body Integrity
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Body Hardware
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Power Equipment
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
In-car Electronics
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey for about 420,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2019 vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system. NA indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.

Learn more about car Reliability.

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2012 Ford Expedition owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

"Paint chipping on tailgate and on fromt bumper"

Dori W., IN (2012 Ford Expedition King Ranch 5.4-L V8)

"Rear hatch paint peeling off"

Paul B., MB (2012 Ford Expedition Limited 5.4-L V8)

"Second Expedition we've owned with paint pealing on the hood and back liftgate"

John V., NY (2012 Ford Expedition XLT 5.4-L V8)

"Paint along the trim area is gone - small amount"

Raymond F., MI (2012 Ford Expedition XL 5.4-L V8)

"Paint crumbling off trunk lid"

Charles H., MN (2012 Ford Expedition King Ranch 5.4-L V8)
Rust

"The back tailgate is rusting and paint is beginning to flake and peel"

Russell M., FL (2012 Ford Expedition Limited 5.4-L V8)

"Rear tailgate door rust found on chrome trim and lower perimeter of door. Occurred within two years of ownership repaired under warranty"

Anonymous, MB (2012 Ford Expedition XLT 5.4-L V8)

"rust is forming under the paint on back door , next to handle. This vehicle is ALWAYS garaged"

Ronald O., WA (2012 Ford Expedition XLT 5.4-L V8)

"There is an area of rust on the tailgate that we will have to fix soon"

Anonymous, NE (2012 Ford Expedition King Ranch 5.4-L V8)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Seat belts

"Ford always seems to have trouble with their seat belts not retracting when you get out of the car. As a result, they get caught in the door and wear more than they should"

Anonymous, NC (2012 Ford Expedition XLT 5.4-L V8)

"corrosion on the tail gate. 3 different areas"

James R., IL (2012 Ford Expedition Limited 5.4-L V8)

"Some of the paint at the rear lift gate is gone small areas"

Raymond F., MI (2012 Ford Expedition XL 5.4-L V8)

"Trunk lid paint peeling off"

Charles H., MN (2012 Ford Expedition King Ranch 5.4-L V8)
Windows

"The regulator in both the driver's and passenger's side has gone out and had to be totally replaced"

Dori W., IN (2012 Ford Expedition King Ranch 5.4-L V8)

"Driver side front window regulator failed. Dealer fixed in one day without issue"

Anonymous, VA (2012 Ford Expedition XLT 5.4-L V8)
Heated or cooled seat controls

"The seats quit working. The light would flash on and off.It took 3 trips and many hours at dealer to get fixed. The module had gone out plus something had burned and melted and had to be relaxed under the seat. It cost about $500 total to fix"

Dana M., LA (2012 Ford Expedition Limited 5.4-L V8)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

"Failed at 2 years of ownership. Out of warranty so had to pay myself. Ford dealership was not very responsive, so had independent shop perform replacement"

Anonymous, OK (2012 Ford Expedition XLT 5.4-L V8)
Automatic climate control

"Passenger side blows cold air when heat is on"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Ford Expedition XLT 5.4-L V8)

"The motor that controlled the dual climate flow was replaced"

Raymond S., WI (2012 Ford Expedition XLT 5.4-L V8)

"Just starting in the past couple of months, the rear heater fan often won't turn on. Every once in a while it does"

Anonymous, WA (2012 Ford Expedition Limited 5.4-L V8)
Heater system

"Damper motor failed and would only blow cold air"

Delmer A., AL (2012 Ford Expedition Limited 5.4-L V8)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Power steering leaks

"Not urgent - caught during routine service"

Anonymous, NM (2012 Ford Expedition Unsure 5.4-L V8)

"Small leak fixed under warranty"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Ford Expedition XLT 5.4-L V8)
Shocks or struts

"They failed at 36,050 miles and ford claimed no responsibility under warranty because we had 50 miles over 36,000. Would never buy a ford product again"

Russell M., FL (2012 Ford Expedition Limited 5.4-L V8)

"strut broke"

Ronald O., WA (2012 Ford Expedition XLT 5.4-L V8)

"Leaking. Failed inspection"

Anonymous, ME (2012 Ford Expedition King Ranch 5.4-L V8)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Premature brake wear

"Brakes wore out at about 30000 miles. The car is very heavy and the brakes do not seem built for the car"

Anonymous, NC (2012 Ford Expedition XLT 5.4-L V8)
Rotors

"Pulsating when braking"

Anonymous, NM (2012 Ford Expedition Unsure 5.4-L V8)

"Rotors warped prematurely and there is a wobble during breaking to indicate this"

Michael G., CO (2012 Ford Expedition XLT 5.4-L V8)
Calipers

"Uneven break wear"

Anonymous, IN (2012 Ford Expedition XLT 5.4-L V8)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

"Had to replace the left exhaust manifold and left catalytic converter; in addition to Oxygen sensors"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Ford Expedition XLT 5.4-L V8)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"The check engine light came on. The oxygen sensor was replaced at no charge"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Ford Expedition XLT 5.4-L V8)

"Replaced sensors twice"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Ford Expedition XLT 5.4-L V8)

"Check engine light resulted in replacement of oxygen sensors covered by warranty, currently check engine light requires replacement of more sensors not covered by warranty"

Anonymous, VA (2012 Ford Expedition XL 5.4-L V8)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

"failure of side step to activate when door is opened"

Alice M., TX (2012 Ford Expedition Limited 5.4-L V8)
Wiper motor or washer

"Both the right front (passenger side) and rear wiper transmission assembly (motors) have failed and the entire assembly had to be replaced. Not a major serious issue but I thought the failure was a little premature"

R I., NY (2012 Ford Expedition XLT 5.4-L V8)

"Back window wiper motor "seized up" and stopped working completely. Back cargo window sensor continually said back window was ajar"

Anonymous, ME (2012 Ford Expedition King Ranch 5.4-L V8)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Squeaks or rattles

"Sounds like something loose in head liner on both sides of sun roof rear track. Almost directly above front seat head rests. Possibly air duct or wiring for electronics in headliner. Pressing up on head liner causes noise to subside"

Anonymous, IA (2012 Ford Expedition Limited 5.4-L V8)

"passenger window rattles when driving with the window partially down"

James R., IL (2012 Ford Expedition Limited 5.4-L V8)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Voice control commands

"Sound quality of sync / Bluetooth system has been worse than expected"

Ken M., NC (2012 Ford Expedition Limited 5.4-L V8)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Engine computer

"Engine would not accelerate, Computer was reprogramed. That solved the problem"

Mario P., AZ (2012 Ford Expedition Limited 5.4-L V8)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Exhaust leaks

"Vehicle has an overpowering smell of gas upon starting. Dealership has been unable to diagnose"

David J., TX (2012 Ford Expedition King Ranch 5.4-L V8)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

Compare 2012 Models

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Ford Expedition
This score shows whether the model had more or fewer problems overall than the average model of that year, calculated from the total number of problems reported by subscribers in all 17 trouble spots.
Recalls
PROVIDED BY
POWER TRAIN:AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
Apr 27 2016
An unexpected downshift into first gear can cause the vehicle to slow down suddenly without warning and the rear tires may slide or lock, increasing the risk of a crash.
Summary:
Ford Motor Company (Ford) is recalling certain model year 2011-2012 Ford F-150 trucks, 2012 Ford Expedition, Lincoln Navigator, and Ford Mustang vehicles. The affected vehicles are equipped with an automatic transmission that may unexpectedly downshift to first gear, regardless of vehicle speed.
What should you do:
Ford will notify owners, and dealers will reprogram the powertrain control module with updated software, free of charge. The recall began on September 19, 2016. Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Ford's number for this recall is 16S19.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 16V248000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 153581
POWER TRAIN:AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION:CONTROL MODULE (TCM, PCM)
May 03 2012
IF THIS CONDITION EXISTS, THE TRANSMISSION MAY NOT GO INTO REVERSE OR WHEN THE DRIVER PUSHES THE SHIFT LEVER IN THE REVERSE ¿R¿ POSITION AND THE VEHICLE¿S TRANSMISSION DOES GO IN REVERSE, THE ¿R¿ MAY NOT ILLUMINATE ON THE DASHBOARD OF THE F-150, EXPEDITION, OR NAVIGATOR MODELS AND/OR THE BACKUP LAMP ON THE REAR OF THE F-150, EXPEDITION, NAVIGATOR, OR MUSTANG VEHICLES MAY NOT ILLUMINATE. THESE CONDITIONS INCREASE THE RISK OF A CRASH OR A PEDESTRIAN BEING STRUCK DUE TO THE VEHICLE¿S NOT SIGNALING IT IS IN REVERSE.
Summary:
FORD IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2011-2012 FORD F-150, 2012 EXPEDITION AND LINCOLN NAVIGATOR, AND 2012-2013 MUSTANG VEHICLES, FOR FAILING TO COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NOS. 102, "TRANSMISSION SHIFT LEVER SEQUENCE, STARTER INTERLOCK, AND TRANSMISSION BRAKING EFFECT" AND 108 ¿LAMPS, REFLECTIVE DEVICES AND ASSOCIATED EQUIPMENT.¿ THESE VEHICLES MAY HAVE A TRANSMISSION RANGE SENSOR (TRS) THAT WAS CALIBRATED OUT OF SPECIFICATION FOR REVERSE GEAR.
What should you do:
FORD WILL NOTIFY OWNERS, AND DEALERS WILL INSPECT AND REPLACE THE TRS AS NECESSARY, FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL BEGAN ON JUNE 11, 2012. OWNERS MAY CONTACT FORD MOTOR COMPANY CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP CENTER AT 1-866-436-7332.
For more information:
FORD'S RECALL CAMPAIGN NUMBER IS 12C23.CUSTOMERS MAY CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY: 1-800-424-9153); OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 12V190000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 10500
SEATS:MID/REAR ASSEMBLY
Feb 02 2012
IN THE EVENT OF A CRASH, THE SEAT HEAD RESTRAINT MAY NOT PROVIDE THE REQUIRED STRENGTH, INCREASING THE RISK OF INJURY.
Summary:
FORD IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2012 EXPEDITION AND LINCOLN NAVIGATOR VEHICLES, MANUFACTURED FROM NOVEMBER 19, 2011, THROUGH DECEMBER 2, 2011, FOR FAILING TO COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 202, "HEAD RESTRAINTS." THESE VEHICLES MAY HAVE INADEQUATE WELDS ON THE HEAD RESTRAINT SUPPORT BRACKETS FOR THE SECOND ROW, RIGHT-HAND SEAT.
What should you do:
FORD WILL NOTIFY OWNERS, AND DEALERS WILL REPLACE THE HEAD RESTRAINTS AS NECESSARY, FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL BEGAN ON FEBRUARY 21, 2012. OWNERS MAY CONTACT FORD MOTOR COMPANY CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP CENTER AT 1-866-436-7332.
For more information:
FORD'S RECALL CAMPAIGN NUMBER IS 12C22.CUSTOMERS MAY CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY: 1-800-424-9153); OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 12V034000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 569
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