The Ford Explorer has existed since 1991 and there have been a number of variations. This article reviews the top Ford Explorer problems of the 4th generation, years 2006 to 2010.
Video: Top 5 Problems Ford Explorer
Top 5 Issues on the 4th Gen Ford Explorer (2006 to 2010)
1. Temperature Control Problems
Symptoms Temperature Control Problems on the 4th Gen Ford Explorer
- Temperature doesn’t change after adjusting it that may be accompanied by a ticking noise in the vents
Causes Temperature Control Problems
The passenger compartment temperature control tends to fail on the 4th gen Ford Explorer. The blend door actuator diverts air so if the heat is turned on, the blower motor can blow hot air into the cabin from the heater core. If the actuator is broken, it won’t be able to divert air to change the temperature when commanded. If this problem is accompanied by a ticking noise, the blend door actuator has likely failed. The casing on the blend door actuators can crack and break or the internal gears may bind.
How to Fix Temperature Control Problems
It’s not easy to access the blend door actuators but it’s still possible to replace them without bringing the car to a mechanic.
2. Thermostat Housing Leaks
Symptoms of Thermostat Housing Leaks
- Sweet smell in the air after running the engine
- Coolant leaks
- Coolant collected on the thermostat housing
- Hot air isn’t coming out of the heat
- Low coolant level
Causes of Thermostat Housing Leaks
The thermostat housing houses the thermostat. It’s common for the thermostat housing to leak coolant along the seam in between the upper and lower thermostat housing. If coolant is leaking on the 4th gen Ford Explorer, it’s likely from a bad thermostat housing.
How to Fix Thermostat Housing Leaks
The thermostat housing connects to the upper radiator hose. To fix this problem, flush the coolant system and replace the thermostat housing and thermostat.
3. Intake Manifold Gasket Leaks
Symptoms of Intake Manifold Gasket Leaks
- Rough idle
- Loss of engine power
- Engine stalling
- Engine misfires
- Check engine light
Causes of Intake Manifold Gasket Leaks
The rubber areas where the gasket is supposed to meet can wear, crush, or harden, causing air intake issues. The gaskets are supposed to prevent dirty or unmetered air from drawing into the engine. If the gaskets are worn, air can enter the engine and cause performance issues.
How to Fix Intake Manifold Gasket Leaks
The intake manifold gaskets sit where the air intake system connects to each side of the engine. Diagnose the problem with carb cleaner or a spray bottle with rubbing alcohol to see if the intake gaskets or another part is causing these problems. Mist the engine near the intake with the engine running. If the engine idle fluctuates up or down, there is likely a vacuum leak. If there is a vacuum leak in the intake area, there is a problem with the intake gasket.
4. Exhaust Manifold Leaks
Symptoms of Exhaust Manifold Leaks
- Cracked exhaust manifold
- Ticking noise from the wheel well at start up that disappears as the engine warms up
- Smell of exhaust fumes underneath the hood area or the passenger compartment
Causes of Exhaust Manifold Leaks
It’s common for exhaust manifolds to crack. When the metal on the exhaust manifold is cold, it contracts and exposes the crack, which disappears as it warms up and seals, eliminating the ticking noise.
How to Fix Exhaust Manifold Leaks
There is an exhaust manifold located on each side of the engine. Check the exhaust manifold for cracks. Diagnose which exhaust manifold is leaking and replace it. The mounting studs and bolts that hold the exhaust manifold to the engine may have broken off into the engine. If that happens, drill the studs out and tap a hole.
5. Rear Wiper Motor Failure
Symptoms of Rear Wiper Motor Failure
- Wiper arm doesn’t move when commanded and may stop at any position
How to Fix Rear Wiper Motor Failure
Remove the trim panel above the hatch trim panel to access the rear wiper motor. Disconnect the wiring harness. Check the wiring harness for discoloration, which is a sign the wiring harness needs to be replaced. If the wiring harnesses are in good condition, check them for electrical power with a wiring diagram and a test light. Check the wires for damage like tearing and see if a fuse is blown if there is no power at the wiring harness. If there is power and ground, the wiper motor needs to be replaced.
Fix Your 4th Gen Ford Explorer Yourself
Learn how to fix your own 4th gen Ford Explorer and many other makes and models yourself. 1A Auto has thousands of how-to videos to help beginner and experienced DIYers diagnose and complete repairs on their own.
4th Generation Ford Explorer Model Years
- AC Blows Cold on One Side and Hot on the Other?
- How Can I Tell If I Have a Coolant Leak?
- Think You Have An Exhaust Manifold Leak?
- Windshield Wipers Not Working? [Diagnose & Fix]
- Common Ford Explorer Sport Trac Problems: 2001 to 2005