This version of the Explorer switched to a car-based platform. It has a roomy and practical interior, a usable third-row seat and generous cargo capacity. It also has a steady and compliant ride, along with respectable fuel economy. Ultimately though, the Explorer still falls a bit short of the best in this competitive class.
Alerts
There are 6 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A 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.
2000
2001
NA
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
NA
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A 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.
2000
2001
NA
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
NA
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS standard. Side air bags available 1999-2001, standard from 2006. Head protection air bags available from 2002, standard from 2008. ESC available from 2003, standard from 2005.
Road Test

This version of the Explorer switched to a car-based platform. It has a roomy and practical interior, a usable third-row seat and generous cargo capacity. It also has a steady and compliant ride, along with respectable fuel economy.

Ultimately though, the Explorer still falls a bit short of the best in this competitive class. The engine is somewhat noisy, handling is secure but lacks agility and the driving position is flawed. Further, the optional MyFordTouch control interface is overly complicated and distracting.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear, 2 third
Drive Wheels
AWD , Front
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
4-door SUV
Transmissions Available
  • 6-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 2-liter 4 turbo (231 hp)
  • 3.5-liter V6 (290 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2011 Ford Explorer owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

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

Backup or other camera/sensors

"One of the sensors used for park assist went out and had to be replaced"

Edward B., TX (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Camera failed"

Anonymous, IL (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"System quite working. The camera had to be replaced"

Anonymous, CA (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Back up camera stopped working and had to be replaced"

V H., CA (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Took the car to the dealer for an intermediate failure and was told they would have to change the camera at over $900. I can live with it working most of the time. The marker lines do not work now at all. They had no solution."

Terry W., MI (2011 Ford Explorer 3.5-L V6)

"It randomly stopped showing the backup camera picture on the dash screen - it just displays an error message stating "Camera is unavailable. Please contact your dealership""

Anonymous, MO (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Failure of back up camera. Required replacement"

Anonymous, TX (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"The backup camera quit working and had to be replaced"

Anonymous, TX (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"The backup camera had to be replaced. Does not seem like that would happen"

L G., MO (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Camera went out. This car has MAJOR blind spots in my opinion. You need the camera to back up to see everything. I do not think that is something that should ever go out unless the car had no blind spots."

Anonymous, CA (2011 Ford Explorer Base 3.5-L V6)
CD player

"by time the car was 3 years old and had under 24000 miles the CD player wouldn't eject. I was told it wasn't covered and sent to an independent stereo company. they looked at it and said contact Ford. I have finally given up after months of asking an"

Tom M., VA (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)
Display screen freezes up

"Screen totally failed while driving after two years of ownership. Complete unit, with computer electronics, required replacement under warranty. Vehicle difficult to operate without screen since it controls EVERYTHING"

Anonymous, WI (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Almost without fail, I have an annual tune up that includes my Sync system that will randomly shut down entirely when driving or not turn on completely when turning the car over. After this tune up, it seems to stabilize for 6-9 months"

Evan S., OH (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Screen does not respond when touched"

Anonymous, MO (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)
Display screen goes blank

"The display screen went blank. It was replaced under warranty"

Anonymous, TX (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Entire SYNC system had several issues. Ford/Microsoft installed parts and major update. Problem has been resolved"

Paul M., IL (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Warranty replacement of APIM"

Anonymous, WI (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Goes blank while rebooting"

Paul U., MA (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"The car gets lost. The gps shows the car in a location other than the actual location,"

Edward B., TX (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"nav had the actual location of my vehicle different that location on gps screen - diff ranged from a few yards to several blocks"

Frank H., GA (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Takes too long to capture satellite sometimes"

Yoshie S., CA (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Location of car inexact. Often shows the car in the wrong location and not even on a road. Overly difficult to operate. Can never trust this system for directions. I use my cellphone instead!"

Vanessa V., PA (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Did not always provide reliable information"

V H., CA (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"There were 2 units that went bad, One item is described as 18A02/18842 and the other is DB5Z-15604-B.Both were still under warranty"

Carol S., MS (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"The GPS system sometimes locks up, sometime up to 40 minutes. This is really inconvenient when I'm in a large city, trying to find my way to a destination."

Shari C., WA (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"The GPS takes a long time to acquire the satellites. They replaced the GPS unit that helped but I still have problems taking a long time to acquire. I think they could have done more to fix this."

Terry W., MI (2011 Ford Explorer 3.5-L V6)

"GPS would often not work throwing the navigation completely off. Even with an extended warranty took Ford a long time to agree to replace the computer"

Anonymous, OH (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"All problems listed were same issue. Control board needed replacement"

Anonymous, TX (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"The GPS system remained off periodically for extended time. When it was on, it worked fine, but when off the car was "lost" with respect to the map. During off periods, the navigation feature was useless"

Anonymous, TX (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"It will not enter a new route saying "no route is active" - But will not let me enter a new route"

Anonymous, AB (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Complete failure"

Anonymous, TX (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"GPS navigation quit working. You could be heading north and it would tell you West or South etc. Something is broke on the GPS system as I have not tried to get it fixed due to cost"

John A., MN (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"Periodic/temporary failure to recognize BT connections"

Antonio D., MD (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Not syncing or drops out"

Anonymous, CA (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Constantly struggles to recognize my phone, albeit that I've owned 3 cell phones over the life of the vehicle, but I am still forced from time to time to reset bluetooth on my phone to get the vehicle to recognize"

Evan S., OH (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Pairing phone that have had for years dropped from Bluetooth"

Anonymous, OH (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"The Phone pairing routinely screws up and when calling people it will ring their phone, but not connect. Then my phone will not hang up."

Anonymous, AB (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)
Radio

"significant static on am stations"

Frank H., GA (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"AM radio antenna issue caused complete non function, 2nd time it occurred I had to argue, but Ford fixed with no charge either time"

Melissa M., MA (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)
Routine software updates

"I was told that I can no longer update my system because of the age of the car. That is crap. They put it in my car so it should be able to be updated through the life of the car."

Anonymous, CA (2011 Ford Explorer Base 3.5-L V6)
Software update fixes

"Updates suck. Last time I got an update it was already seriously out of date."

Anonymous, AB (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)
Voice control commands

"You reset system and voice commands work and them after a time (24hrs) they no longer work. But this does not effect the ability to talk on the phone in hands free mode. Dealer always wan't to keep the car all day and I don't have other means of tran"

Paul A., TX (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"frequently garbled"

Anonymous, AB (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

Body Integrity

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

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

"water leak from top of windshield glass due to clogging with leaves. After cleaning out no problems"

Anonymous, NY (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Sun roof leaks after sitting in light rain. Water would come in thru front interior lights and/or right rear shoulder belt opening & rear passenger overhead light"

Anonymous, CT (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"A large amount of water leaked in through the top right of the back hatch when it rained"

Nan W., PA (2011 Ford Explorer 3.5-L V6)

"There was water leaking through the tailgate. Even though this was a known problem with the 2011 Explorer and seen many times on youtube, we still had to pay for the fix. Then, they wouldn't paint the white patch put on the vehicle"

Carol S., MS (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"There is a major water leak towards the back. When it rains, water pours in and soaks through the ceiling fabric to drip (a LOT) into the far back cupholder (third row seat). This is recent, so I do not know where the leak actually is"

Anonymous, MO (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"WATER LEAKS SEEM TO BE VERY COMMON ON THIS VEHICLE ACCORDING TO ALL THE GOOGLE/YOUTUBE COMMENTS AND VIDEOS THAT I HAVE SEEN. I HAD A SEVERAL LEAKS ON THIS VEHICLE AND IT TURNED OUT TO BE THE ROOF RAILS. THE ROOF RAILS HAD TO BE COMPLETELY REMOVED AND ALL THE SCREW HOLES HAD TO HAVE SEALANT APPLIED AND THE ROOF RAILS REATTACHED. THE BIGGEST PROBLEM WITH WATER LEAKS IS THAT THEY ARE HARD TO FIND THE ORIGINATION OF THE LEAK. WAY I DISCOVERED THAT WE EVEN HAD A LEAK WAS WHEN I EXAMINED THE SPARE TIRE AREA AND IT WAS FILLED AND I MEAN FILLED WITH BROWN MURKY WATER. I REALLY DON'T KNOW HOW LONG THE ROOF HAS BEEN LEAKING."

Joe S., OH (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"PASSENGER FLOORPAN AND SPARE WHEEL WELL BOTH NOW COLLECT WATER IN ANY RAIN, AS WELL AS IOT RUNNING DOWN THE REAR SHOULDER HARNESSES"

Anonymous, MO (2011 Ford Explorer 3.5-L V6)

"Right rear cabin side window water leak after heavy downpour from storm"

Gary D., VA (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Rain comes in in 3rd seat area and drops down 3rd row seat belts. Dealer couldn't find leak so I gave up and just wrap these seat belts with a towel in rainy weather"

E E., OK (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"The fixed moon roof panel seal leaked. Water would come out of the heater vents in the ceiling. They had to replace the glass panel."

Anonymous, OH (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)
Seals and/or weather-stripping

"weather stripping was not sealed correctly and when the car is put in park it sometimes makes a noise and has to be pushed in again"

Marian H., GA (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Big water leak in rear passenger quarter panel window weather stripping area"

Anonymous, FL (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Same issue as sun roof leak, Don't know it if related to seals or clogged drains"

Anonymous, CT (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)
Squeaks or rattles

"I can't"

Jacqueline A., ME (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"There is a lot of road noise with the Explorer. But there is also body squeaks and rattles. Hard to explain exactly what and where....but they are there"

Anonymous, OR (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"There is a mystery rattle that comes and goes. It sounds like its the passenger seat belt mechanism, but not sure"

David L., CA (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"This problem seems to be something that cannot be fixed as I've had the truck into the garage to get this fixed and it has not. I've given up on having it fixed. BTW, this has been a problem since day 1"

Anonymous, CO (2011 Ford Explorer Base 3.5-L V6)

"The passenger side A pillar rattles when driving 50mph and above. Took it in to two different dealerships and they could not fix even though there was s TSB"

Anonymous, FL (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)
Wind noise

"A piece of trim was loose, made a rattling sound, and had to be replaced. The wind noise is noticeable, especially when there is a strong cross wind"

Anonymous, OH (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"The side windshield plates that hold the window in place did not have a foam seal installed on them. This caused excessive wind noise"

John A., MN (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"The lower right windsheild cowl plastic near the A piller had a broken fastener clip."

Anonymous, NC (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Vibration noise from windshield trim pieces"

Anonymous, WI (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"The design causes the wind noise at times"

Anonymous, CO (2011 Ford Explorer Base 3.5-L V6)

"wind noise coming from the right windshield"

Anonymous, WI (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

Paint/Trim

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

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

"Since the car was new it has had excessive wind noise around the windshield on the passengers side. I decided it was poor design but have discovered the molding around the windshield is loose on that side"

Tom M., VA (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Right A frame molding came off at 70 MPH"

James T., TX (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"front cowling is too low and catches when parking"

Steve S., TX (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Trim around front windshield is coming loose"

Anonymous, AB (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Windshield gasket trim is disintegrating. Over $500 to replace a freaking gasket!!!!!"

James R., AZ (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"The outside trim that runs from the body of the car to the top of the passenger window came completely off. The front guard just under the bumper detaches regularly from the corners."

Anonymous, PA (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"Paint blistered along the front edge of the hood"

Patrick P., NJ (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Paint on the front hood has bubbled up. Dealer is currently in contact with Ford"

Anonymous, NY (2011 Ford Explorer 3.5-L V6)

"The top of the truck has started to peel paint, it appears much thinner than the paint on the side body or anywhere else on the truck"

Josh T., VA (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Aluminum hood paint peels and flakes. Known issue Ford does not want to address."

Anonymous, VA (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"aluminum hood has corrosion all around the front perimeter, with large flakes falling off. Ford says it's not their problem, but it's reported many times on the internet"

Brian M., AB (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Front edge of hood began chipping and peeling away at about 25,000 miles. Neither Ford nor Dealer would take responsibility... entire front edge of hood eventually became impacted"

Anonymous, PA (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Paint peeling on front of hood"

Anonymous, NY (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Entire front edge of hood has lost much of the paint. Another Ford Explorer owner approached me and complained about the same disconcerting paint peeling issue."

Anonymous, PA (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Front hood edge paint cracking and peeling since 20K miles; Ford nor Dealer would correct... still peeling at 150K miles."

Anonymous, PA (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)
Rust

"Front Bottom Edge of front doors both started to rust on the lower corners"

Anonymous, ME (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"2areas of rust showed up on my tailgate. I showed it to my Ford dealer, but they weren't interested in fixing it. They said since it wasn't rusted through, it was of no concern to them. I am not happy, needless to say"

T S., PA (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"serious rust on the panel above the windshield necessitating repairs"

Brian M., AB (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Severe rust above the windshield, paint bubbling on the hood"

Brian M., AB (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Rust starting to show above windshield area, lower portions of all doors, a few minor rust spots on tailgate area as well"

Anonymous, AB (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

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

Bushings

"Front upper suspension bushing need replacement just outside of manufacturer warranty period. Covered by car deal as failure happened with in first week of used car purchase"

Anonymous, WI (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)
Electronic or air suspension

"Warranty -- Power steering shuts off during driving. Electronic repairs for electric pump"

Anonymous, IL (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Had to replace electronic part which regulated the steering"

Anonymous, FL (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)
Shocks or struts

"the mounts on the car needed replacing and were worn"

Anonymous, CO (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Right front shock/strut started making noise at about 42000 miles and had to be replaced. Unsure what caused the problem"

Craig L., TX (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Made a popping noise when the steering wheel was turned"

Anonymous, TX (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"The shock and spring of the struts were fine. the upper mount was wearing out and had to be changed so I changed the entire struts"

Larry G., MO (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Upper strut bearings needed replacement because it made an annoying noise when steering wheel turned."

Denis O., AB (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"struts needed to be replaced"

Anonymous, WY (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Making knocking noise when turning at low speed"

Anonymous, AZ (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Strut Bearing Replacement"

Jeffrey K., NY (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Started making noises and drive was not very smooth, had them replaced and everything was good"

Anonymous, OH (2011 Ford Explorer)
Springs or torsion bars

"Springs catch when turming then release make a knocking noise"

Anonymous, AZ (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)
Steering linkage (includes rack and pinion)

"Power steering was disabled, zero power steering"

Denis O., AB (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

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

"It was covered by the warranty and fixed promptly"

Debra P., OR (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"A/C stopped working, had it fixed, stopped again, had it fixed, stopped working again."

Anonymous, OH (2011 Ford Explorer)
Automatic climate control

"sensors keep failing at least once per year. air will flow either left or right side only"

Anonymous, GA (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"started blowing hot air from passenger side when AC was on"

William W., ID (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"One side of the car will heat or cool while the other side does not. First time, it was the passenger side that would not respond. It was fixed. Now , same problem on the driver's side"

Anonymous, IN (2011 Ford Explorer)

"The heater system never disengages- during cooler or mild weather, it always blows hot air until the AC is engaged. The dealership has never been able to fix the issue despite repeated attempts"

Matt R., VA (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"no AC when winter went to summer no heat when summer went to winter"

Anonymous, NM (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Heat only from climate control."

Anonymous, LA (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"a/c actuator control stopped working correctly"

Bob S., MD (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)
Blower (fan) motor

"It keeps cutting off and then comes back on and then cuts off again but only when the exterior temperature is above 80 - no problems this past winter when the temp was below 80"

Herman M., FL (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)
Heater system

"takes forever to heat car"

Anonymous, NH (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)
Refrigerant leaks

"Coolant leaked due to faulty connection system. The connection system had to be replaced and Ford would not cover it under warranty"

John A., MN (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"refrigerant line leading to the rear AC developed pinholes"

Anonymous, PA (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Leak to Rear unit. Significant labor cost to repair"

Anonymous, WI (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

Exhaust leaks

"I could smell a slight exhaust smell in the cabin compartment of this vehicle within the first 3 months of purchasing it in 2011. I have had the vehicle in at least 3 times for this problem and was told it was fine every time. A couple of years ago this issue finally came to light but there has not been any remedy by Ford."

Anonymous, FL (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)
Other/unsure

"system froze up and everything controlled by sync touch screen became inoperable"

Anonymous, GA (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"SYNC is difficult to use and freezes up frequently. Not very reliable"

Anonymous, FL (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"It is difficult to use and was difficult to sync with my cell phone. The navigation feature is difficult to use so I just use a Garmin"

Anonymous, OH (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"My greatest fear was when the car arrived and I say the stencil on the Radio System "Powered by Microsoft" I figured I was in trouble if Microsoft's performance is par with other things like this they tried. Well I was right. The whole thing is Bad"

Paul A., TX (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"It frequently wont recognize BT devices and locks up. Now the reverse camera does not work"

Antonio D., MD (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"module went down causing: touch screen to freeze, gps to not function, blue tooth to not function, some climate controls to not function, back-up camera to not function and all audio options to not function"

Paul G., RI (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Worst functioning, most dangerous car controls EVER!! Must take eyes off the road to do practically everything. Change radio, adjust HVAC. Made worse by removal of tactile buttons! Poor response to touch. Complicated menus"

Vanessa V., PA (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"The system has bugs and does not work correctly all the time. I have upgraded the software, but problems periodically continue"

Anonymous, CA (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"screen would indicate that the vehicle was shutting down to protect battery. Dealer claimed that I needed a new battery even though the car is not that old. I ended up changing the battery 3 times and the problem still exists"

Franz V., ON (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"When near strong radar system military system does not put you om road you are driving on"

Lewis S., MA (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Constantly reboots, especially in hot weather. Reboots in the middle of calls. Nav system usually good but sometimes shows car off the road. One time directed me to turn off Interstate where there was no exit. Nav system once took 1 hr to kick in"

Paul U., MA (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"System would not work and would go out for a few minutes every few hours"

Ed G., CO (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

Brakes

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

What Owners Say

Calipers

"Prematurely worn/broken caliper needed replacing at 50,000 miles"

Eric-Sylvia A., WI (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)
Normal routine brake wear

"Ford had over 53000 miles. Live upstate ny where salt is used and I used Fird for surf fishing In salt water."

Anonymous, NY (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)
Premature brake wear

"Rotors and pads replaced at ~35,000 miles due to wear. Rear calipers seizing, will need to take it in for service very soon. Probably do it myself because dealer service manager is such a scumbag"

Anonymous, MI (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Brakes wore out very fast and there was lots of rust on the brakes had to replace brakes and rotors"

Anonymous, IL (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Brake shoes and rotors had to be replaced at 31000 miles"

Anonymous, ME (2011 Ford Explorer Base 3.5-L V6)

"Seems like the brakes are wearing out faster than they should"

Anonymous, MI (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"loud noise and longer stopping distance"

Anonymous, AL (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"With two set of four rotors obviously we had to replace the brake pads and calipers in some cases as well"

Anonymous, ME (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Rear passenger brake pad on the inside wore out and ruined the rotor. Very premature"

L G., MO (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)
Rotors

"Had to be replaced at 31000 miles"

Anonymous, ME (2011 Ford Explorer Base 3.5-L V6)

"In three years we have had to replace the rotors twice. Of course that meant new pads as well. that's two sets of rotors and pads in 30,000 miles"

Anonymous, ME (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Brakes seemed to were out prematurely since the last time I had them fixed"

C D., MI (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Warped rotors on front"

Anonymous, TX (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

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

Cruise control

"collision avoidance sensor quit"

Anonymous, TX (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"only works some of the time, same with collusion avoidance system"

Anonymous, TX (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)
Gauges

"gas gauge quit very expensive to repair"

Anonymous, TX (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)
Headlights

"Failure of controls"

Anonymous, IL (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"headlamp bulbs had to be replaced"

Anonymous, WY (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"When it rains heavy, the headlights dim by themselves. Sometimes, when I have them on dim, they nearly go out completely. Ford hasn't been able to replicate the problem or fix it"

Anonymous, WA (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)
Interior lights

"Passenger side sun visor mirror light does not com on."

Martin K., MD (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)
Keyless entry

"Failed to respond to touch"

Anonymous, MD (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)
Warning lights

"side warning light"

Anonymous, IL (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)
Wiper motor or washer

"Wipers turned on themselves and would not turn off with switches. Wiper motor had to be replaced."

Anonymous, AL (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Wipers started automatically and would not shut off."

Anonymous, WI (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

Drive System

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

What Owners Say

4WD/AWD components

"front bushings in steering"

Anonymous, AK (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)
Driveshaft or axle

"Axle seal leaked. had to be replaced"

Anonymous, OK (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"This is the 2nd time since no warranty that these components have failed, we are in our 70s and very moderate drivers, very expensive to fix, if one front tire slips a little on slippery road(ice), front end makes a clunk and is wearing out some expensive front parts. This is our 3rd Explorer, no others did this in over 100000 miles."

Norman P., AK (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)
Electrical failure

"The engine just quit after having been parked for several hours. It has a proximity key system but would not start. It had approx 4000 miles on it at the time. It was towed 85 miles and it took 3 days for the ford dealership to isolate the problem an"

Anonymous, NH (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)
Traction control

"Dealer installed new sensor in rear wheel. It did not fix problem. And found bad wheel bearing. It through it off enough so sensor couldn't read right. So 500 dollars later it works."

Alan L., NY (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)
Transfer case

"Transfer case had slight crack causing fluids to drip onto exhaust system. Dealer could not find problem at first and I paid about $1000.00 in necessary repairs before it was fixed"

Franz V., ON (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Ford calls it a Power Transfer Unit (PTU) aka transfer case. It is a gearbox attached to the side of the transmission on AWD models. It sends power to the rear wheels as needed. They are considered to be permanently lubricated. Thus there is no drain plug or way to change the fluid, there should be. It is located next to a catalytic converter and gets hot. The fluid fails, gets thick and/or leaks/boils out and the unit fails due to no lubrication. When the fluid gets hot it can smell like propane or gas which can alert you to the problem before failure. Mine did this and Ford replaced it. I had an extended warranty so it was covered. There is also a TSB. I'm not sure if Ford would cover it without the extended warranty. Replacement cost is in the area of $2000."

Anonymous, PA (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

Transmission Minor

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

What Owners Say

Gear selector or linkage

"Had vehicle in several times while under warranty, for "shift to park" issue, (wouldn't go into park). They couldn't find issue causing problem. Finally after warranty expired they found solution and want to charge us since it is now out of warranty"

Marty W., IN (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"It frequently would not shift into park even though the shift showed it was in park"

Melissa F., TX (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Console shifter linkage would not allow the ignition to lock which prevented the key from being removed from the ignition switch. Shifter was replaced"

Anonymous, SC (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Shifter would not move to park position to release ignition key"

Dean S., SC (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)
Slipping transmission

"The transmission would hesitate about fully engaging, especially after stopped upon acceleration. I took it in the Ford dealer and they re-programmed it and so far it has been working properly"

Anonymous, TX (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Bangs into gear at slow speeds. Asked dealership to review. They found no problems"

Anonymous, IL (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)
Transmission leaks

"Not sure if this actually was a leak. There was oil on the garage floor but dealer could not locate leak"

Anonymous, AR (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

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

Heated or cooled seat controls

"Failed shortly after purchase"

Anonymous, ID (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)
Sunroof

"Sunroof leaks during heavy rain."

Anonymous, VA (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)
Tailgate, hatch or trunk

"The welds near the tailgate hinges broke. The sheet metal had to be welded and sealed to keep water from pouring in through the hinges"

Anonymous, CA (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"THE POWER STRUT ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THE TAILGATE IS THE BRAINS IN LIFTING THIS TAILGATE AUTOMATICALLY. THIS STRUT COMPLETELY FAILED AND HAD TO BE REPLACED AT A COST OF ALMOST $400 FOR A STRUT...RIDICULOUS. I HAVE TALKED TO MANY FORD EXPLORER OWNERS AND THIS SEEMS TO BE A VERY COMMON PROBLEM. COMMON ENOUGH THAT I FEEL THERE SHOULD HAVE BEEN SOME TYPE OF RECALL ON THIS POWER STRUT IF THERE HAVE BEEN THAT MANY FAILURES."

Joe S., OH (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Piston did not work properly to open tail gate. They were replaced at no charge"

Anonymous, NY (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

Engine Minor

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

What Owners Say

Engine computer

"InSync doesn't work at all. Back up camera rarely works. Voice comes on repeatedly, noises are constant, ....THIS CAR IS A LEMON, I wish we could trade it. Ford should have done a total and complete recall on all of them. LEMON LEMON LEMON LEMON"

Jacqueline A., ME (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"had to replace computer plus two other visits for "engine timing" and loss of traction control system"

Douglas W., SC (2011 Ford Explorer Base 3.5-L V6)

"Car would suddenly go into idle and neutral while driving. Would get a warning on my panel saying AWD is off and Terrain maintenance failure. Dealer first repair was to replace the alternator (I questioned it at the time) to the tune of $800+ and the second repair (months later after symptoms/warnings reappeared) was to replace the throttle body ($400). So far no recurrence."

Anonymous, DE (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)
Oil leaks

"Not sure if this actually was a leak. There was oil on the garage floor but dealer could not locate leak"

Anonymous, AR (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

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)

"Check engine light - replaced several emission control components that did not fix the problem. Eventually they used a smoke test to find a leak on top of the fuel tank. They had to drop the fuel tank to fix."

Anonymous, OH (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)
Fuel gauge/sender

"Sender inside the fuel tank failed. Had to remove fuel tank to correct the problem."

Anonymous, WA (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"failed, doesn't read fuel level, VERY expensive to repair"

Anonymous, TX (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

Engine Cooling

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

What Owners Say

Radiator

"Vehicle was experiencing an overheating situation on a recurring basis. Took to Ford Dealership and after several days, they diagnosed what appeared to be a very dirty outside and inside radiator. Needed to replace the radiator, cooling fans, hoses, thermostat, and coolant."

William M., KY (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)
Thermostat

"Thermostat failed resulting in auto overheating and requiring that it be towed to shop."

Anonymous, PA (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)
Water pump

"Wife let it get too hot when the water pump failed"

Anonymous, TX (2011 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

Engine Major

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

What Owners Say

Timing belt or chain

"Serpentine belt failed and was repaired"

Anonymous, PA (2011 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

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

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