1996 Ford Explorer XLT 5.0L V8 from North America


If you can afford the gas, it is a great and very reliable SUV to own.


Wheel Bearing replaced at 40,000 miles.

Constant need for steering allignment.

Sway bar links broken at 50,000 miles.

O2 sensors needed replacement at 55,000 miles.

Failed emissions at 70,000 (Check engine light was on. The result was bad O2 sensors--again)

Clear coat peeled off at 35,000 miles.

General Comments:

My Explorer is completely reliable. I have never been stranded somewhere and it always starts in the cold winter mornings.

I have had continuous problems with my O2 sensors going bad.

Gas! Gas! and more gas! This SUV uses way too much gas (at about 14mpg city and 16mpg highway)

Also, problems with my rear hatch. If the glass window is open, the dome lights will not go off when it is closed. (quick fix by yanking out the switch)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th March, 2003

1996 Ford Explorer XLT from North America


I love this vehicle


I have had a problem with the check engine light coming on since the day I bought it. Had it in to Ford 3 times. Couldn't figure a problem.

At 100,000 miles, had to have anti lock brakes replaced.

At 130,000, took it back in to see if Ford could figure out the problem with check engine light. 2 weeks & $800.00 later, still no answer.

General Comments:

This is a great vehicle. It drives and handles very well contrary to what has been said about Explorers.

In the winter it goes where ever I have to go, and I feel very safe when put in 4 wheel drive & I have driven in some pretty bad blizzards of Ohio & New York.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th November, 2002

30th Nov 2003, 20:21

My 96 Explorer has been virtually trouble free for over 120,000 miles. I have never had an engine light on, no failures whatsoever. It has had nothing more than regular maintence. NO REPAIRS! Never has failed to start. I did have it lowered 2 inches just for stability reasons and it helped tremendously!

1996 Ford Explorer Splash 2.3L (140 ci.) from North America


Solid and dependable, but not powerful


Windshield washer fluid pump failed at 65,000 miles.

After 70,000 miles the interior dome light occasionally remains on after passenger door is closed.

The "Check Engine" light has activated three times thus far during rainy/cold weather. The manual says this means there was an engine misfire. The light stays on until you bring the engine up to operating temperature three times without a subsequent miss. On each occasion, the light turned itself off exactly three days later without requiring any sort of intervention on my part.

General Comments:

This truck has been absolutely dependable and has never failed to start. Other than oil and brake shoes it has require no service.

At 110,000 miles the engine is still very quiet and showing no noticable signs of wear. I change the oil at 5,000 mile intervals, and even then it is only slightly discolored and still transparent.

The windshield washer fluid reservoir has a caked white residue around the cap, and based on the ugly streaks and stains on the windshield and door from over-spray, I suspect the previous owner may have used something other than "standard" washer fluid. This may have caused the washer fluid pump failure.

The 2.3L V4 engine with 5 speed transmission is adequate for the weight of the truck itself, but adding a passenger, a load in the bed, or even a full tank of gas makes the acceleration feel sluggish.

Steering and braking are quite excellent, however performance on snow/ice is quite dreadful (perhaps due to the wide-profile tires and lightweight rear end).

The suspension is stiff. Rough pavement is uncomfortable to navigate. The shocks, struts, and suspension components are in good working order otherwise.

AM/FM radio reception is excellent and the overall sound is great (for a truck).

Seats are comfortable, especially the lumbar supports, but not for longer rides. Headroom and control orientation is adequate for me (6'0") but would probably feel cramped for a taller person.

The paint is holding up very well despite being bombarded by pebbles on the highway.

Overall I'm very happy with the truck and would recommend it for those who desire dependability for a reasonable price.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th May, 2002

29th Oct 2002, 13:32

Obviously this person has never owned a real truck. The Explorer is not a truck! It is a sport utility vehicle... the suspension is nothing like a truck --in fact it is very soft for this type of vehicle. Regarding handling on snow/ice...I fell it does espicially well, espicially when compared to a convention pickup truck (there is no weight whatsoever in the bed of a pickup... can be tough in the reduced traction areas). The Explorer on the other hand.. plenty of weight on the rear end -- just remember to adjust your driving to the road conditions.

28th Jan 2006, 19:03

It sounds like this guy is talking about a Ford Ranger instead of an Explorer. Explorer never had a trim called Splash--that's a Ranger trim. And, Explorers never came with a 4-cylinder. The 2.3 L he mentions is the base engine in the Ranger. That dome light problem also sounds very familiar to my own Ranger. Spray some WD-40 on it, it should work.