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2016 Ford Explorer problems: The most common reliability issues reported by owners

Photo of 2016 Ford Explorer

Since 1990, the Ford Explorer has been the vehicle of choice for millions of families. Its combination of rugged good looks, capability and practicality helped usher in the modern SUV boom that is prevalent today. If you’re in the market for a 2016 Ford Explorer, you may be concerned about common issues that other owners have experienced.

The 2016 Ford Explorer is praised for its high tech interior, comfortable ride and powerful engine. But there are some issues that you really need to be on the lookout for if you are considering purchasing this year of Explorer.


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Common problems with the 2016 Ford Explorer

  • Wrench Light/ Check Engine Light. Cost to fix: Varies
  • Power Steering Failure. Cost to fix: $2100
  • Loss Of Power While Driving. Cost to fix: $700 - $2400

Most common problems reported by 2016 Ford Explorer owners

Most common problem with 2016 Ford Explorer: Faulty throttle

2016 Ford Explorer engine interior

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Cost to fix: Varies

How to avoid: This issue is quite prevalent among owners of the 2016 Ford Explorer, and it is especially concerning because it could put drivers in peril. The check engine light comes on after the vehicle drastically loses acceleration while driving. Some owners report that at highway speeds the vehicle suddenly loses all power and forces owners off the road. The culprit of nearly every complaint is a faulty throttle body. This part was recalled due to excessive complaints and is fully detailed by Ford. In order to avoid this issue, check with Ford that the part has been replaced per your VIN.


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Also common: Power Steering Failure

Cost to fix: $2100

How to avoid: The power steering system of the 2016 Ford Explorer has a wide variety of complaints across the internet. Users on carcomplaints.com have reported that the vehicle will suddenly become very difficult to steer and often requires emergency evasive actions. After bringing the car in for service, owners find out that the power steering system alone is not the issue. It’s actually a complete failure of the steering rack, and it requires a complete replacement. This is an expensive fix that owners claim happens at relatively low mileage. To avoid this, listen closely for any grinding of popping noises while test driving and ensure that the steering is able to fully lock in each direction easily as well.

Other 2016 Ford Explorer problems worth noting: Loss of power while driving

2016 Ford Explorer warning light on dash panel

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Cost to fix: Varies

How to avoid: This issue is actually related to the power and throttle body issue noted above. Complaints are similar and involve a sudden lack of power or rapid deceleration that requires owners to take their vehicles down to a Ford dealer for a full diagnosis of the issue. As above, ensure that the throttle body recall has been completed and ensure that the engine accelerates normally.


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How to avoid buying a used 2016 Ford Explorer with these problems

If you’re considering purchasing a 2016 Ford Explorer, you need to ensure that there are no mechanical issues that will cost you money and possibly put the safety of your family at risk. As stated above, check with Ford to ensure that the vehicle you are considering buying has already had all recall work completed prior to purchase.

If all recall work has been completed, it’s time to test drive the vehicle to ensure it is mechanically sound. It’s imperative that you run that vehicle through every single scenario that it would go through on a daily basis. Street driving, hard acceleration, highway speeds - all of it. You also need to ensure that you use all functional components of the vehicle are working properly. Make sure you run the HVAC system, play the stereo, adjust the seats etc., as these are all things that can cost you some serious money in the long run to repair.

Your final line of defense is to have the vehicle checked out by a mechanic in your area. This final step will ensure that the anything missed on the test drive is covered. A mechanic will place the vehicle on a lift, run it through a battery of tests and perform a thorough visual inspection. If the selling party does not want this test done, time to look elsewhere. You may have to spend some money up front, but peace of mind truly has no price.

Search all used 2016 Ford Explorers in your area

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A new car loses value the second you drive it off the lot. Luckily, many used models sport the same great features as their new counterparts. Here’s where you can find nearly-new cars at significant discounts off MSRP.


Problems with other used year models of Ford Explorers: