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Top 5 Problems Ford Explorer SUV 5th Generation 2011-2019

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Top 5 Problems Ford Explorer SUV 5th Generation 2011-2019

Created on: 2020-04-23

Top 5 Problems on the 5th Generation Ford Explorer, 2011-2019

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Hey, friends. It's Len here from 1A Auto. Today, we've got a Gen 5 Ford Explorer in here, and I want to go over some of the top problems that we found with this vehicle. Let's get started. Hey, friends, while I've got your attention, make sure you leave a comment, like, subscribe, ring that bell. Let's get back to what you came here to see.

All right, friends. So, you know me. One of the first things that I like to start with on these videos is a safety issue. For me, safety is a top priority as it should be with you. So, that leads us into throttle response. Sometimes on these vehicles, they have an issue with the throttle body, and you'll go to step on that gas pedal and it just doesn't want to go. When that happens, generally speaking, you're going to see something pop up on the dash. It looks like a little wrench and more than likely a check engine light pretty close to it. What that's going to tell you is that you have a couple codes, and those two codes are P2111 and P2112. The symptoms of this is going to come down to basically, like I said before, you go to step on that accelerator pedal, and for some reason, the vehicle just doesn't want to go. This can happen either whether from a stop, maybe you stopped at a stop sign and it's time to go. You step on the gas, the vehicle doesn't want to go. Maybe you're on the highway, you're going 60 miles per hour, and all of a sudden you're trying to accelerate to keep that speed, and the vehicle speed is just diminishing to the point where you just kind of feel like you're super unsafe and all you can do is just veer off the road. What's happening at this point is your vehicle is going into limp mode. Let's talk a little bit about that.
And limp mode generally happens when your vehicle realizes that there's a discrepancy in the information that it's receiving. On this vehicle, it's very common for it to be an issue with the throttle body, which is this located right here. When your vehicle goes into limp mode, it's basically going to diminish the power of your engine to a minimal state, just to the point where you'll have enough power to hopefully limp into the side of the road, and hopefully get a tow truck to the local mechanic. So, the causes for this issue, they found to be inside of the electronic throttle body. It's basically a connectivity issue is what they decided. Something as simple as maybe you take this off of here, you take a peek, and maybe it's damaged, or here, but generally speaking, it's actually inside of this electronic unit here that has a connectivity issue. Okay. So, some of the fixes for this, Ford actually extended their warranty to 10 years, 150,000 miles on this, so as long as you're within that, you should be good to go. Otherwise, what I would do if I was over it, and more than likely you will be because 150,000 miles on an engine like this, generally speaking, isn't very much. You're going to go over that no problem. Warranty might be expired. What I would do is go to and buy myself a new one.

The second thing that I want to talk about is a starting issue with these vehicles. Sometimes you just barely fueled up your vehicle, you go to start it up and it just doesn't want to start. Let's talk about it. Now, when this happens, more than likely, you're going to probably see a check engine light come on on your dash, and it's going to have a code that comes up saying probably 1450. Essentially what it's going to tell you is you have a problem with this right here. This is called your EVAP purge solenoid, and if this goes bad, you're going to have runnability issues. So, the fixes for this. Of course, you wouldn't want to just replace it right off of the bat. You'd want to test it. You just go ahead and take this off. Take a peek. Make sure you don't see any funny colors. At this point, you would want to take this off as well. The next thing I would want to do would be to take a hose and bring it up to a vacuum gauge because we're going to test for vacuum. Put this right on here. The next thing we're going to want to do would be to actually start up the vehicle and run it. If there's any vacuum present at any point, this proves the purge valve is either stuck open or is getting sucked open by the force of the vacuum present on either side of it. If you didn't have a vacuum gauge at hand, which is understandable, I would just take a hose, something that fits right onto this nice and snug, and then, of course, try to give it a little blow. If you can't force any air through this, that means, obviously, it's not stuck in the open position. Now, assuming that we know that this is good, it held the air, it didn't open up or anything like that, the next thing I would want to do is check my electrical connectors and wires for connectivity and make sure there's no breaks or kinks anywhere.

So, the next thing that I want to talk to you about on these vehicles is it's very common for the dome light and the door ajar light to stay on. Let's get into it. Something that's super annoying about this issue is the fact that you just never know if the door is open or closed. You're driving down the road. You've had the issue for a while. Is my door closed? I don't know because the dome light is still on and the door ajar light is on as well. Let's start talking about why it might happen. Inside the door, you have your latch assembly, and it's actually a pretty big unit inside there, and there's more to see than what you can see right now, but there's actually a switch inside there that essentially knows when this is clicked like that, that means that the door is shut. Well, the switch inside there doesn't communicate the way it should, so the vehicle doesn't necessarily know that it's shut. It's very common in these vehicles for the latches to go bad. So, some of the symptoms that you might notice for this is you're driving down the road and your dome light stays on and your door ajar light is on on your dash. Of course, that's annoying. It's very apparent as well that there's an issue. Maybe you're trying to hit your key fob and you're trying to lock those doors and the doors just don't want to respond, more likely it's because it's not getting communication from one of these door latches, so it's not going to do anything. It's not going to lock all the doors and not the other one, right?

Another thing that you may or may not notice is we have an alarm on this. You go to click that button, it's not going to go off or it's not going to turn on, I guess is what I would rather say because it can't lock the doors, it doesn't have any communication with the latch, and it knows there's an issue. So, let's talk about a cause for this issue. You open up the door and you look right here. Generally speaking, this is the culprit. And yeah, it looks like it's a very small area, but in all honesty, it's not. Inside of this is the latching system. It's probably about this big, maybe about that wide, and it probably covers about this much. The latching system in there also has a sensor that's going to have, like, a little wiring going to it that's going to basically tell the car if this latch is open or closed. It's an ajar switch, okay? If the door is ajar and it's like this, it knows that this door is not shut. If the latch is like this, it should know that the door is shut. But for some reason, on some of these vehicles, inside here, the door ajar switch goes bad and it just doesn't communicate. Like I said, you're going to have issues with, of course, your alarm. You're not going to be able to lock those doors, so the alarm is not going to want to work, of course. You're also going to have issues with, like I said before, the door ajar, and, of course, the dome light.
Come on. Usually, when I slam the door, it ends up working right. Generally speaking, this issue can be considered intermittent. Maybe you slam the door a couple of times and it seems like it's working fine for you a couple more times, and then, of course, it doesn't work again. Nobody wants to deal with that issue day after day. So, the possible fixes for this, of course, would be you could try to clean it out. Take off this door panel, get inside there, remove these bolts, take off your door latch. Of course, there's going to be some other things in there. Once you have it out, you can try to clean it up. There might be a little bit of gunk or something in there, and that could, of course, cause an issue with that door ajar switch. You might also want to check the wiring. Make sure you have connectivity. If there's any corrosion, you know that there's more than likely an issue. Check that wiring. Make sure there's no crimps, binds, anything like that. Maybe broken wires. A mouse might have chewed through it. If all that's good, unfortunately, the next thing that I would do would be to replace the latch assembly.

Oh, man. Starting to feel a little nauseous in here, getting a little bit of a headache too. Can we pull over? Something is going on. The next thing I want to talk to you about is super unsafe and it needs to be on this list. Some consumers report that they've had feeling of nausea and headaches when they're driving in these vehicles. A lot of times passengers especially will experience it when they're sitting in the back like this. Generally speaking, it's going to happen when the vehicle is moving at higher speeds, or at least the vehicle has higher RPMs. That all comes down to carbon monoxide poisoning. Generally speaking, if you've got exhaust fumes that are somehow making its way inside of the passenger compartment, it's going to fill this up and you're going to start getting headaches. You're going to notice that right away. More than likely, you're going to start feeling nauseous, your stomach's starting to lift up, and maybe you need to pull over so you can get out of the car real quick. These are all signs that you have exhaust entering your passenger compartment.

It's been notated that exhaust fumes could fill the passenger compartment through these right here, which are the auxiliary rear air conditioning vents. So, when you get to the back of this vehicle, I've got a couple spots that we want to take a look at. If you come right back here, you can see up in the corner you have these little rubber grommets. If you were to pull this out, I can stick my finger right inside there. Now, that could, of course, lead inside the cabin, inside all the headliner and inside these. So, if this is missing or if it's cracked or leaking, then, of course, exhaust can make its way up through here and then get pulled into there, okay? There's one on the other side. It looks like somebody already tried doing something with this one. I don't really want to touch it too much because it's...well, I didn't do it, so I don't want to touch it. There's also the seal that runs along here. If this is ripped or torn in any way, of course, that's going to be an issue as well. If you were to lift this up, you can see underneath here, there's going to be several areas that you might see like this one right here, another one of those rubber plugs, and then, of course, there'll be one over on the other side of the vehicle as well hiding, and there's other miscellaneous ones that you might see that look a lot like that. There's going to be some other areas. Let's see. If we get in here, can see this. If any of these are either crippled up to the point that they're, you know, not making a good seal or anything, these are all potential areas. There's even one over on the other side that could leak a little bit of exhaust fumes in here and it could potentially cause a major issue, like I said, with exhaust poisoning and all that. Last thing you want to do is get sick and potentially worse.

Now, those are just a few of the issues that we have in the back. Of course, there's a couple other spots you'd want to check, but let's get under the hood for a couple more. So, if you come up to the front under the hood and you look at your firewall, which is the wall between your passenger compartment and your engine, of course, you find any of these, like, hoses, or cables, or anything that go through it, more than likely they have a rubber grommet around them just like in the rear there. If they do and that grommet is out of place, ripped, torn, missing, more than likely you're going to have an exhaust issue where fumes are going to be getting into your vehicle, especially if you have an exhaust manifold leak or, you know, a resonator leak up front here somewhere.
All right. So, after approximately 1.4 million people complained about this to Ford, they finally got around to wanting to fix it. What they do is you bring it on down to them. They're going to do a complimentary service for you. So, part of this complimentary service that they're going to do for you is they're going to go ahead and replace those rear tailgate vents that they have in the back. They're going to reprogram the AC system on this so it operates at different times, and they're also going to go through the vehicle and replace all those little rubber grommets that I told you about, just to make sure that everything is sealed the way that it should be.

The next thing I want to talk to you about is Ford sent out a recall on these vehicles, the Explorers made between 2011 and 2017, they realized that they had an issue with the rear suspension. Let's get into that. So, some of the symptoms for this could be squirrely feeling suspension. Maybe you're driving down the road and the vehicle just kind of seem like it sways all over the place. Maybe the truck seems like it's drifting in directions other than how you turned. Some of the serious cases involved obvious wheel misalignment and movement due to the broken arm in the rear. So, some of the causes for this, well, Ford stated that if the car is subject to frequent rides over rough terrain, that the tow link in the rear suspension could fracture, which, of course, would affect the steering and lead to greater risk of traffic accidents. The fixes for this, of course, would be to go ahead and replace the left and the right rear suspension tow links, and then, of course, do a wheel alignment.

And for a bonus, let's talk about these aluminum hoods. We have our magnet. Try to put it on the hood, nothing. They are aluminum hoods and they're going to cause you an issue. Let's get into it. So, some of the symptoms that you're going to notice on these vehicles is along the front of the hood you're going to find these areas where the paint is just literally flaking off and you can see some...usually have, like, a white dust under there, and it looks as though something is getting corroded. That's the aluminum of the hood that's starting to come through. Moisture makes its way inside of a little crack. It starts building up corrosion. It lifts up the paint, that flakes off, exposes a bigger area. More moisture comes in, does the same thing, and it's going to keep going until it runs across your whole hood, and then who knows, maybe even further. So, fixes for this, there's a couple. If you're good at bodywork, you could try to prep this, maybe tape it off the area that you want to do. You would sand this down so it's beautiful. No more corrosion. You would prime it, and then, of course, paint it to match the color of the rest of the vehicle. If the damage was too bad and/or you just didn't want to go through all that hassle or pay for it, you would replace the whole hood as an assembly and paint it to match the vehicle again.

All right, friends. So, we had some fun making this video, and as always, we hope you had some fun too. If you did, make sure you click that Like button down there. While you're at it, subscribe, and ring the bell. That way there, you'll be kept up with all of our latest content. And while you're at it, why don't you go ahead and leave me a comment? I love to hear them. Thanks.

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