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 5 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 Explorer has been recalled 5 times by NHTSA. View Recalls
Research Years * Redesign year
Worse Better
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Overall Reliability Verdict
NA
NA
POTENTIAL TROUBLE SPOTS
Engine Major
NA
NA
Engine Minor
NA
NA
Engine Cooling
NA
NA
Transmission Major
NA
NA
Transmission Minor
NA
NA
Drive System
NA
NA
Fuel System
NA
NA
Electric System
NA
NA
Climate System
NA
NA
Suspension
NA
NA
Brakes
NA
NA
Exhaust
NA
NA
Paint/Trim
NA
NA
Body Integrity
NA
NA
Body Hardware
NA
NA
Power Equipment
NA
NA
In-car Electronics
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 329,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2020 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 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

"Camera developed a bad connection. Screen would go blank when backing up. $400 to replace"

Anonymous, TN (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Camera quit working. Required new--expensive-module"

Anonymous, IN (2012 Ford Explorer Limited)

"Lost the "lane" guides, then lost ability to zoom, now have an image that is a mirror image of actual"

Thomas C., NV (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"The camera does not work most of the time. Normally first in the morning it will work but after the sun heats up the car it will stop working"

Richard N., TX (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Backup camera stopped working.dealer installed new battery which did not help and new system would cost $1500"

Anonymous, NJ (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)
CD player

"Had to replace"

Anonymous, PA (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)
Display screen freezes up

"MYSYNC SUCKS. FORD UNABLE TO REOPAIR OR ACCOMODATE CUSTOMERS ON A KNOWN ISSUE. NEVER BUY FORDS AGAIN"

Anonymous, NJ (2012 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)
Display screen goes blank

"screen would be blank on starting vehicle and would not come back for hours"

Rex L., NL (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Had to rebbot twice then they reinstalled an updated system. Works fine now"

Richard H., MI (2012 Ford Explorer Limited 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Seems like the main computer failed. The tech said that this one is better because the old one was known to fail. Frustrating that they knew they had a problem but wasn’t likely to fail under warranty so they didn’t do anything for current owners"

Anonymous, IA (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"FORD MY TOUCH. HORRIBLE SYSTEM. HAS A MIND OF ITS OWN. BECAUSE OF ITS ISSUE NAVIGATION DOESN'T WORK/RADIO DOESN'T WORK SEAT AC/HEAT DOESN'T WORK. NO CLOCK DISPLAY. FORD SCREWED ITS CUSTOMERS W/ THIS SYSTEM. SOONER OR LATER GOING TO COST ME."

Anonymous, NJ (2012 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"Very difficult to try to maneuver around the system, too many touch screen buttons, isn't user friendly at all"

Anonymous, PA (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Off course alot"

Anonymous, NY (2012 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"You cannot update the navigation chip like I can with Garmin. You have to buy a new chip from Ford. This is a lousy way to run a navigation system. Things change like speed limits and roads. Ford needs to enter the 21st century"

Anonymous, IL (2012 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"arrow would be off roadway and would get directions to turn left when highlighted rout said to turn right, also wrong street names"

Anonymous, MN (2012 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Google Maps app on my phone is 100 times easier to use. I never use the GPS through Ford anymore"

Anonymous, IL (2012 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"No matter how many updates I have installed, the system still has a problem with getting me out of my neighborhood"

Anonymous, DE (2012 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"GPS goes long periods of time without synching to correct position"

Donald A., LA (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"I have updated the software in the GPS system 2 or 3 times at $149 each since purchasing the car. It sometimes does not know where it is and I must use the GPS in a phone. Also, at times it will not accept the destinations."

Anonymous, DE (2012 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"I have two different new phones and each time the actual connection is lost at times and occaissionally it takes a long time for the connection to be made"

Anonymous, NC (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"System often does not find a phone. When it does, it will hang up on calls after a couple of minutes"

Joshua J., MD (2012 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"EVERY SO OFTEN PHONE PAIRING DOESN'T WORK. YOU NEED TO REDO TOO OFTEN."

Anonymous, NJ (2012 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)
Radio

"radio doesn't tune to 87.7 fm"

Joe H., IN (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Too much static interference in AM mode."

Anonymous, CA (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)
Steering wheel controls

"steering was smooth than hard to over come some times not all the time said it was pc board up date needed no problems since"

Anonymous, MI (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Upon starting up, the power steering does not work. I must turn off the ignition and restart at least once."

Anonymous, DE (2012 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)
Voice control commands

"The system is very user unfriendly. It is difficult to get any information from the voice system. Very confusing to use in addition to the touch screen feature"

Anonymous, PA (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Must be very careful to enunciate very clearly or you will get a poor response from the system"

Anonymous, DE (2012 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Sometimes does not respond to voice commands."

Anonymous, IL (2012 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

"Windshield noise"

Steve H., WA (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Both back windows leaked water, and gave my vehicle a musty smell. This was resolved by the dealer after 2 visits"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Had two water leaks from the the sunroof"

Carolyn M., NY (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"multiple water leaks in the rear of the car. Water running down the rear seat belt when rain occurs"

Anonymous, IL (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"water leaks somewhere in rear roof area"

Anonymous, MA (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)
Seals and/or weather-stripping

"They said it was the weather stripping from the sunroof"

Carolyn M., NY (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Had the windshield seal replaced once a few years ago and now it seems it is leaking air again. It whistles"

Anonymous, IA (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Door sealing position allows dust/grime to accumilate on surfaces that are contacted when entering/exiting. Surfaces must be hand cleaned frequently to keep clothing contamination"

Anonymous, WI (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)
Squeaks or rattles

"There are a few areas on the interior of the vehicle that rattle on rough roads. These have not been repaired"

Anonymous, NV (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"A loose air dam caused rattles"

Frederick H., NJ (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"I think my car was put together on Friday afternoon. After several MONTHS of the dealer trying to find a rattle in the roof, they finally decided to replace the entire moon roof assembly and the problem went away. Overall the quality is poor"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Wheel well right rear plastic or metal piece lost bolt fastener and was hitting the right rear tire at 35+ mph"

Stephen S., IN (2012 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Front suspension groments become brittle causing rattle. Replaced 3 times"

Anonymous, WI (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Rattle in rear ceiling due to tack weld failure with a support bracket. Required a interior upholstery company to fix it for $400."

William H., IL (2012 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)
Wind noise

"There was a loose piece of plastic that would rattle in the wind when driving"

Anonymous, NC (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"The aero dynamists are wrong. I had a 2006 explorer that I could drive with the windows down and still talk you can't with the 2012"

Ronald S., MI (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"When you are in high wind you hear a noise like blowing on a blade grass between your fingers"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Ford Explorer XLT)

"wind noise still exist after replace of weather- stopping"

Anonymous, LA (2012 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

Ball joints

"This is the same problem. Technically it is neither bushings nor ball joints it was the entire suspension structure, but you did not have that choice"

Anonymous, MD (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)
Bushings

"Apparently when made at least one bolt missing in front left suspension, causing whole wheel to break loose and jam into fender"

Anonymous, MD (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)
Power steering pumps and hoses

"Electronic power steering module went out, and it took dealership 3 weeks to order replacement parts."

Anonymous, CA (2012 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"power steering malfunction and replacement with only 4000miles"

Anonymous, LA (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Powersteering failure"

Anonymous, MD (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Power steering locked up. Ford had a recall on this problem"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)
Shocks or struts

"Rear shocks were shot--leaking after 3 years. Really unacceptable for such a new vehicle"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Suspension noise resulted from the strut bushings failing. These needed to be replaced but were covered under warranty"

Chris P., SK (2012 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Strut bearings were replaced"

Anonymous, SD (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Lower A arms had to be replaced due to worn bushings"

Michael N., BC (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Plastic bearings on the front struts failed.....caused Slop/clunking"

Bruce P., IN (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Both rear shocks needed to be replaced within the past 12 months, which seemed to occur earlier than i would have expected"

Anonymous, IL (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Broken strut"

Anonymous, MD (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Struts had to be replaced"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Rear shocks wore out/leaked prematurely"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"The truck needs to have the front right strut mount pivot plate. This is making noise when turning the wheel and will cost 300 to fix. The plate has a detent in it causing noise and is a very common problem."

Anonymous, IL (2012 Ford Explorer Base 3.5-L V6)
Steering linkage (includes rack and pinion)

"Strut is worn and there is a back order on replacement (no after-market)"

Anonymous, MN (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"The vehicle was not operated for a month and when we wanted to use it, the steering would not work. Towed the vehicle to the local Ford Dealership and fortunately it was covered under warranty under a recall notice."

Anonymous, SC (2012 Ford Explorer Base 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

"pass rear caliper would not release,once cool could drive again with no smoking brake pads. fix was to purchase a new caliper and pads"

Anonymous, MN (2012 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Calipers froze on a trip across countryside"

Anonymous, NJ (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Rear Right Caliper locked up on this truck multiple times. I see this is a common problem for Ford Exp."

Anonymous, IL (2012 Ford Explorer Base 3.5-L V6)
Normal routine brake wear

"Normal brakes wear had to change rear brakes"

Ana R., OH (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Brake pads and calipers were never changed previously, finally wore down"

Rodney S., IL (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"My Vette has 100,000 miles and NO Brake issues. We had a Cougar, and Two Thunderbirds that also had warped rotors."

Bruce P., IN (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)
Premature brake wear

"Recently had to replace the REAR brakes"

Anonymous, IL (2012 Ford Explorer Base)

"Rear brake pad cracked with less than 36,000 miles"

Anonymous, OH (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"lost brake shoe"

Anonymous, NB (2012 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Brakes are noisy"

Anonymous, MA (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"At 36k miles I had to replace the rear brakes and again at 65k. I am concerned that this is reoccurring. I do not drive in high traffic often and it is only 7 miles to work on a non-busy roadway. I am not an aggressive driver."

Anonymous, TX (2012 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Replaced the brakes twice on the Explorer. My Toyota 4Runner never needed new brakes in the 75,000 miles I had it."

Anonymous, CO (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)
Rotors

"Seemed to be premature in my opinion. I have owned several new vehicles and the brake system failure occurred much faster than any other"

Jeffrey J., MI (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Rotors were warped at about 45,000 miles. Went until I couldn't stand the pulsing and had one caliper frozen. Replaced all 4 rotors and pads and one caliper"

Bruce P., IN (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)
Squeaking

"it was squeaking and when I went in for an oil change, apparently the brakes were failing and had to be changed"

Anonymous, NY (2012 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

"the window trim blew off the car while driving down the highway. it was very frightening and irritating because we had just bought the car,and they weren't willing to pay for it. We also found out that the front windshield had been replaced by previo"

Anonymous, OR (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Trim around windshield came loose and was flapping in the wind. Replaced both sides at a cost of $600!!"

Donald S., FL (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Body panel clips broken, under body air dam for transmission cooling falling off"

Stephen R., NC (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"The rubber strips under the windshield pillars came loose and began flapping against the windshield while I was driving at highway speed. Also the cowling between the windshield and the hood was made of some soft composite material and was disintegrating"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)
Loose interior trim or moldings

"Interior door vinyl split for no apparent reason. I am told that the only solution is to buy the entire vinyl trim for the door"

Maryalice S., MN (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"DRIVERS DOOR PANEL SPLIT ALONG SEAM"

Michael S., TX (2012 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Interior door handle is made of cheap plastic and splits in half"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"Leading edge of hood had peeling paint. Covered under warranty just before it expired"

Donald S., FL (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Paint on the leading edge of the hood is bubbling up where the hood was not properly cleaned before paint it. Ford admits it, however, they refuse to pay for all of the cost for repairs. They want me to pay $400.00 on it. They were supposed to repair"

Robert H., TX (2012 Ford Explorer Limited 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Peeling on tail gate. Refused to cover citing excess mileage although obvious that it was a problem before the mileage limit"

Anonymous, MN (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Hood and tailgate blistering. Looks to be a bad bond between the aluminum and the paint. Small areas at the edge, maybe 1-1 1/2 inch"

Anonymous, IL (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"paint on hood bubbling and peeling. Research shows that it has been a problem since 2011 and Ford has not remedied this defect yet and refuses to cover it after the 3 yr warranty is over"

Anonymous, MA (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"The hood was not completely painted at the edge of the hood and began to rust"

Anonymous, OH (2012 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)
Rust

"Corrosion under the paint is causing the paint to bubble on the hood"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Ford Explorer Limited 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

Other/unsure

"The problem was actually with the keyless entry which stopped working. Unlocking manually with the key did not disable the security system, so the alarm would sound within about 15 seconds of opening the door. 8 days to repair with several parts"

Anonymous, TN (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Very poor function"

Anonymous, NY (2012 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Will not pair with Iphones, and they say it is Apples problems"

Steve H., WA (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Radio was off. Received phone call and when call ended, radio came on and could not shut it off until we stopped and turned the car off. The problem seems to be fixed now but the Sync system has had 3 total updates since we bought the car. This sys"

Anonymous, IL (2012 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"system went out and had to be replaced"

Joe H., IN (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"The system looses audio when the commands are activated. A system reboot is required to hear the prompts again"

Michael K., TX (2012 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Had to reset"

Anonymous, PA (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"It appears the actual computer system on the car is always updating lately and still having connection problems"

Anonymous, NC (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"System locked up. Had to disable auto updates to phone book. Then it worked properly"

Anonymous, NJ (2012 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Erratic operation then total failure of the system requiring multiple reinstalls of software both at home and finally at dealer"

Anonymous, PA (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"This system periodically goes out and does not come back on"

Joshua J., MD (2012 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"The on dash light was intermittently on for the air bag. This creates an issue as three times I was to take it in and the light would go out, IE no more issue no need to take it in as I have learned in past that you will be charged even if nothing is wrong!! Finally the light was on for about two weeks so i got it in ASAP!! Was a Bad connection on the passenger side seat? OKAY so why when passenger was in the car did the passenger air bag light on passenger side of the dash turn to the ON position? Something doesn't sound right to me?"

Anonymous, NC (2012 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

"A/C compressor failed and was replaced (no warrantee)"

Anonymous, NJ (2012 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"a/c compressor and the seal all had to be replaced"

Anonymous, AB (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"entire A/C system replaced under warranty at 34,000 miles due complete cooling failure"

Marsha A., IL (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"thankfully this was covered under the extended warranty I purchased otherwise it could have been $400 for repair"

Janine C., NY (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)
Automatic climate control

"when traveling out west last year during July, it was very hot in Omaha, NE and it seemed the AC would not keep up, especially at idle speeds or stopped at traffic light. Upon returning home the dealer checked the system and said everything was worki"

Anonymous, OH (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Having multiple climate controls I didn't even notice the passengers side was stuck on AC all winter? This was found when the car was in for the air bag light, the part wasn't in stock and had to be held for two days to order part."

Anonymous, NC (2012 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Only cold air out of the passenger side heater outlets. Controller replaced under extended warranty."

Anonymous, WA (2012 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Passenger side blend door actuator failed. This appears to have been a common problem with the dual zone AC in the Explorer."

Michael J., GA (2012 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)
Blower (fan) motor

"Actuator motor on the front passenger side broke, replaced it"

Michael T., SD (2012 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)
Heater system

"Wouldn't work. Fixed under warrantee"

Anonymous, NJ (2012 Ford Explorer Limited 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

Rough shifting

"We use this to tow, and most recently seem to be having issues with the transmission (it was serviced one ~2 years ago for a service bulletin on the transmission). Still needs to be looked at in detail"

Anonymous, MA (2012 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"did not shift smoothly. Had to place car in service for three days"

Anonymous, NE (2012 Ford Explorer Limited)

"Shifting gears was unpredictable; very rough shifting. Cause of problem was two failed solenoids inside the transmission"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"When the car was slowing down for traffic or a red light when the car didn't come to a complete stop just before moving again when the gas peddle was pushed the transmission would not engage for several moments and then bang hard. Repaired by the dealer."

Anonymous, MO (2012 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)
Slipping transmission

"The car would slip out of gear and when it re-engaged, the entire car would jolt as if I'd been rear ended"

Cindy N., VA (2012 Ford Explorer)
Transmission computer

"Out of the factory, transmission calibration was causing a clunk. At my last dealer checkup, the computer was reprogrammed with latest settings to resolve the problem. No problem has occurred since."

David K., OH (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)
Transmission leaks

"Had a transmission seal leak that was repaired by the dealer under warranty"

Anonymous, NV (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)
Transmission sensor or solenoid

"Issue where car was in park but sensor did not recognize that the car was in park"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Unsure if this is the correct category, but when the car is parked, engine off and then put in park, the dash shows "Not In Park" even though the seat has moved backward to the passenger exit position"

Anonymous, DE (2012 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"This problem (solenoid failure) was previously described as the cause of the transmission's rough shifting"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Ford Explorer Limited 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

"System would not engage"

Anonymous, MA (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)
Differential

"leaking oil"

Anonymous, NB (2012 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)
Driveshaft or axle

"Vehicle was in the shop twice for sluggish response which turned out to be a bad axle bearing"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Ford Explorer Limited 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"front wheel bearings had to be replaced"

Anonymous, MI (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)
Electrical failure

"Electrical issues w/ vehicle controls/lights. Brake warning light will sometimes illuminate, but dealer says error with light not the brakes. Vehicle will provide warning to shift to park when turning off vehicle, but transmission is in park"

Anonymous, VA (2012 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Car lost power while driving. Required restart from full off to reset. It was very scary when this happened on the freeway or when making a left turn across traffic.After several tries, and with help from the factory, and the problem becoming almos"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)
Transfer case

"leaking transfer case which required replacement"

Anonymous, CA (2012 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

Exterior lights (other than headlights)

"Driver side rear light has moisture on the inside"

William H., NC (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)
Headlights

"All of a sudden the headlights stopped working. I brought the car in to Ford Service and they replace the bulbs/headlamps. Two days later both headlights failed again. Ford then replaced the entire system costing me over $1000 even though I have an extended warranty from Ford."

Charles P., NY (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)
Interior lights

"Interior lights don't work while engine is running, but do when engine is off. 3rd seat electrical controls stopped working"

Anonymous, VA (2012 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)
Keyless entry

"I was locked out of my car on 3 separate occasions b/c the number pad on the door would freeze or not allow #s to be pushed/skip"

Cindy N., VA (2012 Ford Explorer)

"Door entry system malfunctioned in that the doors would not unlock when the handle was touched. This was problem resulting from corrosion on the wires. As this was deemed to be from corrosion it was not covered by warranty or extended warranty"

Chris P., SK (2012 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

"One of the numbers doesn't work on keypad. One of the keys does not unlock door any more"

Anonymous, IN (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)
Wiper motor or washer

"Vehicle has rain sensing wipers. Sensor went bad causing phantom wipes on sunny days"

Anonymous, MA (2012 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

Doors or sliding doors

"Interior door handle is made of cheap plastic and is cracking"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)
Sunroof

"There was a rattle in the sun roof liner that the dealer said was coming from the compartment that stores a spare pair of sunglasses, which is near the liner in the roof. Well there were no glasses, apparently they fixed the problem and didn't realiz"

Anonymous, OH (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)
Tailgate, hatch or trunk

"The metal surrounding the hinges on the back hatch cracked open and allowed water to fill the compartment for the spare tire with 5 inches of water. They charged me $262.95 to repair Fords engineering screw up"

Robert H., TX (2012 Ford Explorer Limited 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

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

Fuel injection system

"The throttle body had to be replaced. Checked on line and found Ford had serious problem with these but would not replace mine at "no cost" because they said my model was not listed as a recall. Should never have this problem with a 3 yr old vehicl"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"Car was stalling out. Cause was the throttle body was defective. Saw online that this was a common problem with Ford and they had recalled a couple of models. No recall on the Explorer."

Anonymous, FL (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)
Fuel pump

"2 fuel pumps failed at the same time. Dealer repaired the car"

Anonymous, GA (2012 Ford Explorer Limited 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Engine Major

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

What Owners Say

Cylinder head

"It took multiple visits, three spark plugs were replaced, and a factory technician from Ford to solve the problem. Three visits were futile. Finally after an appointment with the General Manager and over six weeks without the vehicle it appears to be"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Turbo or supercharger

"had to have the turbo replaced at 51000 miles. Waste gate failed, and still doesn't sound right"

Anonymous, IL (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Engine Minor

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

What Owners Say

Engine computer

"2 visits to one dealer and another 2 visits at a different dealer and call to CR before problem resolved"

Anonymous, LA (2012 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5-L V6)

"electronic throttle body failure. very dangerous caused engine cutout several times. should be part of a recall"

Peter C., VA (2012 Ford Explorer Limited 3.5-L V6)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Torque converter

"Problem noticed relatively early on (<50,000 miles). Dealer stated that they could not replicate problem. returned 2 other times with the same result. Finally, the problem got really bad and the car was no longer in warranty. Dealer would not do anything even though the problem was reported multiple times before the end of warranty."

Kevin S., NC (2012 Ford Explorer Limited 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Engine Cooling

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

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

Compare 2012 Models

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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
SUSPENSION:REAR
Jun 10 2019
A fractured rear toe link will cause a sudden change in vehicle handling and increase the risk of a crash.
Summary:
Ford Motor Company (Ford) is recalling certain 2011-2017 Explorer vehicles. The rear suspension toe links may fracture due to stress on the rear suspension.
What should you do:
Ford will notify owners, and dealers will replace the rear suspension toe links, and inspect both rear toe link ball joints, replacing the rear wheel knuckle(s), if necessary, free of charge. The recall began June 26, 2019. Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Ford's number for this recall is 19S17.
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: 19V435000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 1194173
SUSPENSION:REAR
Aug 28 2017
A loss of the wheel or wheel end can increase the risk of a crash.
Summary:
Ford Motor Company (Ford) is recalling certain Wheel Hub Bearing assemblies, part number HB5Z-1104-C, incorrectly listed as being for installation on the rear axles of 2011-2017 Ford Explorer 4X2 vehicles. These bearings assemblies were manufactured without a self retention feature, possibly resulting in the separation of the wheel or wheel end.
What should you do:
Ford will notify the distributors of the hubs specifying that they are to only be used on drive axles. It is believed that none of the hubs were purchased from Ford dealers for the incorrect application. Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332.
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: 17E048000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 630
STRUCTURE:BODY:DOOR
Mar 24 2015
If the interior door handle return spring is unseated, the door may unlatch in the event of a side impact crash, increasing the risk of personal injury.
Summary:
Ford Motor Company (Ford) is recalling certain model year 2011-2013 Explorer vehicles. In the affected vehicles, the interior door handle return spring may unseat, resulting in interior door handle that does not return to the fully stowed position after actuation.
What should you do:
Ford will notify owners, and dealers will inspect all four of the interior door handles and either repair or replace them, free of charge. The recall began on July 23, 2015. Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Ford's number for this recall is 15S11.
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: 15V171000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 194484
STEERING:ELECTRIC POWER ASSIST SYSTEM
May 29 2014
If the vehicle experiences a loss of power steering assist it will require extra steering effort at lower speeds, increasing the risk of a vehicle crash.
Summary:
Ford Motor Company (Ford) is recalling certain model year 2011-2013 Ford Explorer vehicles manufactured May 17, 2010, through February 28, 2012. The affected vehicles may experience an intermittent connection in the electric power steering gear, which can cause a loss of the motor position sensor signal resulting in a shut down of the power steering assist.
What should you do:
Ford will notify owners, and dealers will update the Power Steering Control Module (PSCM) software, free of charge. If a vehicle shows a history of a loss of motor position sensor signal when the vehicle is brought in for the recall remedy, its steering rack assembly will be replaced, free of charge. The recall began on July 23, 2014. Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-800-392-3673. Ford's number for this recall is 14S06.
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: 14V286000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 179027
STEERING
Jan 06 2014
The inability to steer the vehicle increases the risk of a crash.
Summary:
Ford Motor Company (Ford) is recalling certain replacement steering gears installed on model year 2011-2012 Explorers as service parts in September 2013 and January 2014. The affected gears may lock, preventing the driver from being able to steer the vehicle.
What should you do:
Ford will notify owners and dealers will replace the suspect steering gears with new steering gears, free of charge. The recall began on January 29, 2014. Customers may contact Ford at 1-800-392-3673. Ford's number for this recall is 13S14.
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: 14E001000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 300
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