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What’s Wrong With the New Ford Explorer?

The new Ford Explorer has been on the receiving end of bad reviews lately. Some say that it’s inefficient and a sham, given that Ford has been a comfort to vehicle users (obviously), as their products have been among the big catches in the automobile business ever since. What’s wrong with the new Ford Explorer? 

According to feedback, the most common issues with the new Ford Explorer are transmission issues which reduce engine power. In addition, below-par safety prowess and tank sloshing are significant issues. These problems have been responsible for a considerable number of recalls.

The new Ford Explorer model has been a dip in the ever-rising value of Ford’s production of over-the-par vehicles. Some lay claims deal with its efficiency as a vehicle, while others even criticize its looks. To surprise you, some are even saying it’s too expensive! But what exactly is wrong with the new Ford Explorer?

Stay onboard till the last to find out the details.

What’s Wrong With the New Ford Explorer?

At first, the 2022 Ford Explorer didn’t receive any complaints after launching it. However, some SUV models have delivered subpar performances that do not meet Ford’s reliability standards, even though the most recent model is a part of the sixth generation introduced in 2020.

Sl. No


NHTSA Campaign Number



Nov 10, 2021


Incorrect components in the rear suspension module


Sep 22, 2021


Malfunctioning rearview camera


Aug 23, 2021


Improper deployment of side airbags


Mar 10, 2021


Rear lower control arm knuckles might break


Dec 17, 2020


Improper tightening of motor mount fasteners


Nov 24, 2020


The fuel tank inlet check valve might not be properly welded


Nov 10, 2020


Damaged driveshaft


Sept 23, 2020


Malfunctioning rearview camera


Sept 10, 2020


Improperly secured seat belts


Aug 21, 2020


Side airbag may be loose in the seatback


Dec 4, 2019


Possibility of a fuel leak


Sept 30, 2019


Wiring harness may contact with A/C pulley


Aug 5, 2019


Vehicle in factory mode

The above chart shows the details of the recalls the Explorer has had in the recent past.

The 2022 model year has so far avoided any significant recalls, which is rare for the Ford Explorer. 

The SUV has, however, gone through some less-than-successful iterations, with double-digit recall rates. Therefore, it is crucial to know the recalls for earlier iterations to form an opinion about the SUV.

Some of the vehicle’s issues have persisted from the previous generation.

Between 2020 and 2021, the complaints lodged sharply decreased. For example, the 2021 model has received 59 complaints compared to the 526 for the initial variant. However, because of a shared platform, the 2022 model can replicate all of the issues that plagued the original variant.

The most frequent issues with the SUV in recent years are as follows:

1. Exhaust Fumes Inside the Cabin:

Many users have complained that the cabin is filled with a burning smell. This problem has affected some model years of the previous generation, though it is not as prevalent in the current generation.

These exhaust fumes could endanger the passenger’s health even though there is no known reason for the worry.

2. Engine Problems:

The 2020 Ford Explorer engine also received a fair amount of criticism. Users have complained that the engine will suddenly lose power and stall when running without any prior symptoms.

Although it is less common than other issues, an engine stall can raise the likelihood of a collision.

3. Vehicle Catches Fire:

Customers have reported that the SUV has caught fire in a few instances, both in the current and older generations, without any prior symptoms. Then, in a matter of seconds, the fire spreads from under the hood to completely engulf the whole vehicle.

Although there haven’t been any reported injuries or fatalities, the problem is extremely dangerous and calls for the brand’s immediate attention.

4. Braking System Problems:

Users have complained that the brakes on the SUV’s 2020 and 2021 model years do not function as intended. Even with the pedal depressed, the braking system fails to stop the car when it is moved into reverse.

5. Transmission Issues:

Transmission issues with Ford Explorers are nothing new. Users of these SUVs have complained about how hard and delayed shifting is in the current and previous generations, making the car run at higher RPMs.

In other situations, it also makes the car jerk violently forward, raising the possibility of a collision.

6. Sloshing of the Fuel Tank:

The sloshing and clunking of the fuel inside the tank have been reported by complainants when the vehicle has about 50% of its capacity remaining.

Although the cause of this problem is still unknown, it has existed since the SUV’s sixth generation.


  • Ford’s new Explorer is a departure from the company’s history of quality and innovation.
  • The new Explorer is not well-designed and does not meet the needs of consumers.
  • The new Explorer is expensive and does not offer a good value.
  • The new Explorer does not have the fuel economy consumers expect from Ford.
  • The new Explorer has safety concerns that need to be addressed.

Should You Buy the New Ford Explorer?

What's Wrong With the New Ford Explorer

Albeit all the issues mentioned above with the new Ford Explorer, your usage will determine whether the Ford Explorer is the best family vehicle for you. Naturally, the SUV will be a popular choice, and the 2022 Explorer is no exception.

It combines a three-row SUV’s interior space with a truck’s off-road prowess and can be easily driven in an urban area.

Therefore the SUV is an excellent option whether you plan to buy a new or used Explorer. But if you want to purchase "any" Ford Explorer, you should be critical of the 2018 and 2020 models as they have a long list of issues.

Common General Customer Issues with Ford Explorer:

The following problems generally frequent Ford Explorers:

1. Major Oil Leakages:

Significant Oil Leakages occur through the seals, which makes the components friction-worn pretty quickly.

2. Water Pump Issues:

Water pumps in the latest cars are driven by a timing chain and not by a special belt, as in earlier editions.

On one side, it reduces the service cost; on the other, water pump upset will cause heavy valve train damage by the piston group. Also, the water pumps give up at 100,000-150,000 km.

3. Coolant Leakages:

Coolant leakage issues have been reported on cars assembled in Russia. The reason for this is the low clamping joint quality.

4. Engine Misfiring:

If not replaced in time, ignition coils and spark plugs can cause engine misfiring. Although, the engines are solid and last 300,000-350,000 km before they start developing issues.

Transmission kicks and shifting delays can also be likened to engine misfiring, but a software update can fix this.

Transfer Cases often Need Replacement at 50,000 km:

Transfer cases becoming a source of disturbing sounds indicates that the transfer case is nearing its expiry date. But to improve the lifespan of the transfer case, the transfer case oil should be changed every 30,000-40,000km.

Suspension components:

Mounts are replaced in assembly with the torsion bar, which is relatively expensive.

Bar links often need Replacement after every 20,000-30,000km, while the shock absorber mounts have about 50,000km of a lifetime. Also, the anti-roll bar mounts can last for 60,000km of driving.

  • Front shock absorbers, ball joints in assembly with wishbones, and wheel bearings end their lives at approximately 100,000-120,000km.
  • Rock and steering links only last 30,000-50,000km.
  • Parking assistant electronic upsets are common.
  • Gearbox Seals Leakages.
  • Excessive or not enough amount of oil is typical for Russian assembled cars.
  • Full-throttle driving is also impaired for the Explorers.
  • All Wheel Drive electric chains (for the AWDs) are where upsets occur.

Other problems are as follows:

Problems of  New Ford Explorer



Engine Problems

There are timing chain at the front of the engine of one bank and a timing chain at the rear of the engine, if the rear chain fails, the engine takes the gunshot to the body

Continuous rattling chain and eventual damage to the engine

Engine Misfiring

Bad ignition coils/spark plug

Lack of engine efficiency

Cooling system issues/Radiator issues

Use of plastic parts in the cooling system

Engine overheating

Transmission failures


Eventual wrecking of the transmission system

Is Ford Edge Better than Explorer?

Here in this section, we will be looking at the Ford Edge 2021 and the Ford Explorer 2021 head-to-head.



Engine Configuration Types, Power, and Torque:

2L or 2.7LTurbocharged (limited to the ST trim only), 250 hp and 280 lb-ft for 2.0L EcoBoost, 335 hp and 380 lb-ft for the 2.7L EcoBoost 

Engine Configuration Types, Power, and Torque:

2.3L EcoBoost, 3L Twin Turbo EcoBoost, 3.3L Hybrid, 300 hp and 310 lb-ft for the 2.3L EcoBoost, 365/400 hp and 380/410 lb-ft torque for the 3L Twin Turbo EcoBoost engine, 318 hp and 322lb-ft torque for the 3.3L Hybrid

Standard Technology:

Standard backup camera, blind spot system, lane keeping/lane-centering systems, reverse sensing system (limited to some trims but also optional along the entire lineup)

Standard Technology:

All trims have a Standard backup camera, blind spot system, reverse sensing system, lane keeping/lane-centering systems, and keyless car entry

Fuel Economy:

For 2.0L EcoBoost AWD (Canada: 11.5 city | 8.3 highway 10 combined {L/100km}; USA: 21 city | 28 highway 23 combined (mpg) For 2.7L EcoBoost AWD (Canada: 12.6 city | 9.3 highway 11.1 combined {L/100km} USA: 19 city | 26 highway, 21 combined {mpg})

Fuel Economy:

3.3L Hybrid AWD (Canada: 10.1 city | 9.0 highway 9.6 combined {L/100km} USA: 23 city | 26 highway 23 combined {mpg} 2.3L EcoBoost AWD (Canada 11.7 city | 8.6 highway 10.3 combined {L/100km} USA: 20 city | 27 highway 23 combined {mpg} 3.0L EcoBoost AWD (Canada 13.4 city | 9.8 highway 11.8 combined {L/100km} USA: 18 city | 24 highway 20 combined {mpg}

Fueling system:

The gas cover inside the tank is of a capitalist system, minimum of 87 octane for fuel quality, and 89 octane to reach the aforementioned horsepower and torque

Fueling system:

A little cutout where the hose can be inserted for straightforward fueling is present, 87 octane fuel quality is recommended by the manufacturers, but 89/91 octane fuel is better for the Platinum and ST trims, but to reach the aforementioned horsepower and torque, 91/94 octane fuel quality will be needed

Tow Capacity:

3500 pounds for both the 2.0L and 2.7L engines (as made straight from the factory)

Tow Capacity:

2.3L EcoBoost (5300 pounds), 3L Twin Turbo EcoBoost (5600 pounds), 3.3L Hybrid (5000 pounds) as made straight from the factory


Manual Liftgate for the SE trim, a powered liftgate is present in the SEL trim, while a foot-activated power liftgate is present for both the ST and Titanium


Power liftgates are present for all trims, and foot-activated power liftgates are present for the Limited and higher trims

Cargo Dimensions:

45 inches breadth, 41 inches length, 31.5 inches height for the ST line 45 inches in breadth, 74 inches in length (when the back seats are folded down), and 31.5 inches of height for the Escape model 

Cargo Dimensions:

47 inches breadth, 20 inches length (because the Explorer can have up to 7 seats, but to fold the third-row seats on the XLT trim to create more space.

It has to be done manually, but for the Limited trim, you are going to have power for the third-row seats), and 33 inches height.

When the third row is folded, there will be available dimensions in the figures of 47 inches in width, 48 inches in length, and 33 inches in height When the second row is folded plus the third, our length can be maxed to 84 inches

Center Stack:

Ability to turn the volume up and down with the volume knob, ability to look at the reverse camera, buttons to switch FM stations,

wireless charging pads on some trims levels, standard USB port, enhanced park assist system (optional for ST and Titanium trims), parking brake button, auto stop button, standard Climate Control system, cigarette lighter, etc

Center Stack:

Ability to turn the volume up and down with the volume knob,

ability to look at the reverse camera, buttons to switch FM stations, dual-zone climate control (across the entirety of the available trims), heated seats for the minimum Explorer, and cooled seats for the Limited and higher trims, traditional USB port, traditional cigarette lighter, parking brake button, auto start-stop button, and auto hold setting.

Active Park Assist 2.0 (unavailable in XLT and Limited, and standard for the ST and Platinum trims), wireless charging pads on some trims levels, etc

Steering Wheel and Seats:

Adaptive cruise control systems for higher trim levels or the copilot 360 + package, lane keeping system toggle on and off button, heated steering wheel feature (unavailable for SE/Optional ins SEL and ST, standard on Titanium), heated and cooled front seats are available for higher trim levels

Steering Wheel:

Voice command button, adaptive cruise control systems, other regular buttons, paddle shifters across all trims, heated steering wheels, etc

Cluster Screen:

Sync 4 system, Apple Carplay, and Android Auto can be connected to wirelessly, number of control systems settings such as voice control settings

Cluster Screen:

Sync 3 system, Apple Carplay, and Android Auto that can be connected to wired, lane-keeping system, cruise control system, pre-collision assist, rear-view camera, speed sign recognition, etc

Also Read:

Are Ford Explorers 4 Wheel Drive? All You Need to Know
Did Ford Make An AWD Fiesta? All You Need to Know
Ford Edge Off-Road Capability- What You Need to Know
Ford Flex Off-Road Capability- What You Need to Know
Ford Focus Off-Road Capability- What You Need to Know

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

What is the highest trim level for the 2022 Ford Explorer?

The highest trim level for the 2022 Ford Explorer is the Platinum model.

How long do Ford Explorers last?

A Ford Explorer is deemed to live up to 17 years and can achieve 80,000-200,000 miles if well maintained.

Are Ford Explorers expensive to maintain?

Facing it, Explorers are a bit expensive to maintain, as the average maintenance cost is over $730 annually.

What's the most common problem with the new Ford Explorer?

According to reports, transmission issues are the most common issue with the 2022 Explorer.