Re: Explorer Reliability Issues?
In Nov '01, I bought a 2002 Explorer 4-DR XLT with the (kinda small) V-8
and factory towing package. The latter seems to include a 3.73 LS rear
end, 5-speed overdrive automatic trans, Class III hitch and 7-pin
connector. It is rated to tow somewhere around 7000 pounds - which it
will NOT COME CLOSE TO DOING if you venture out of the flatlands of the
midwest. For this reason I would not consider the 4.0 V-6 if you expect
At the moment, I have about 85K miles on it (we drive a lot). Perhaps
20K of that involved towing low-profile camping trailer which I weighed
put on a scale and found about 3500 pounds. The vehicle has been
adequate, but no more than that, pulling this trailer into the high
Sierras and over Loveland Pass and Vail Pass in Colorado. The
combination of steep grades and high altitude just kill the engine's output.
Overall, this has been a great vehicle. I replaced the OEM Michelins at
about 80K, and just last week replaced the OEM battery. I change oil
religiously every 3K, but other than that haven't had to do anything to
it. My only complaint is that the tranny REALLY REALLY needs a Tow Mode
- it behaves very improperly when the camper is behind it. (I think
this is the 5R55W trans.) I also wish it had a tranny temp gauge (but
that's minor) and an extra tranny cooler.
I hope to get another 80K out of this vehicle, and don't see any reason
why I shouldn't if the tranny holds up as it has so far. At that time,
if the new models have a Towing Mode, I will probably replace it with
another Explorer - otherwise, I may look around.
Richard Minami wrote:
> Well, we've almost pulled the trigger on a brand new 2005 Explorer. What
> are peoples' opinions on their reliability? I'm forgoing a Honda Pilot,
> going with an Explorer due to my towing needs, and I guess, future wants.
> The Honda tows 3,500 lbs, or 4,500 if it's a boat. (? I guess it has to do
> with aerodynamics of a boat trailer vs. a regular trailer) That will
> probably tow our Coleman tent trailer fine (~2,100 lbs loaded), but leaves
> no upgrade path (probably want a hard sided travel trailer in the next few
> years). I called my buddy who sells Fords. I'll be meeting him on
> I also e-mailed some friends about this. Man, are they pushing me toward
> the Honda Pilot! We almost went with the Pilot, but the towing and lack of
> features just kind of turned me off. Also, Honda's stability control is
> only available on the EX with leather model, not the EX with cloth seating,
> because they consider it a "luxury item". Hmmm, sounds like a safety item
> to me!
> Anyway, now I'm second guessing my decision a little. I know the Explorer
> will pull it better, probably won't be too bad (our '94 was a HORRIBLE
> experience the first 3 years, but not bad the last 5 - not sure if my
> standards went down after the warranty expired, or it just had everything
> replaced - e-mail me directly for the whole story), and should be a better
> experience than our last Exploder.
> But I guess I'd just like to hear from other late model owners how they
> feel. I knew a lot of 1st generation Explorer owners who had their
> transmissions die right around 70,000 miles. Mine is still factory, at
> 120,000. (I've changed tranny fluid frequently since I tow) I plan to keep
> this one at least 10 years, if not more. The newer models are built to last
> longer, right?
> Thanks in advance for everyone's input!