1997 Ford Explorer Reviews

1997 Ford Explorer Sport 4.0 from North America

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2009
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission 4.0 Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 4 / 10
Comfort marks 3 / 10
Dealer Service marks 3 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 2 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.0 / 10
Distance when acquired132000 miles
Most recent distance135000 miles

Summary:

Piece of gunk

Faults:

My complaint is with the 4.0 SOHC engine. Even with a properly tuned engine, the fuel mileage is horrible. These motors produce excellent power, but with gruesome consequences. The weakness in SOHC engines are the guide plates that the timing chain runs on. Typically around 100k, depending how hot and hard the motor was run, the plastic guide plates wear down and actually break, causing the timing chain to loosen up enough to throw the motor out of time, which results in bent valves. There is after market upgrades for the guide plates. Bad years are 96-01; Ford upgraded after 01.

If you have one of these ticking time bombs "EXPLODERS", you should hear a slight ticking noise before your bomb goes off.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 13th September, 2011

1997 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer Edition 5.0L from North America

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2008
Most recent year of ownership2009
Engine and transmission 5.0L Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 3 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired96889 miles
Most recent distance99950 miles

Summary:

I love it!

Faults:

Absolutely nothing mechanically has gone wrong.

The driver seat is very comfortable, but there is a small tear on it.

Eddie Bauer parts are hard to find, because they are more rare than the XLT.

The sub is known to blow, and that's how I bought it.

General Comments:

My truck is amazing.

It has very low miles for its year, and I love the acceleration.

I can honestly say I will never sell my Ford. I've had no problems with it.

It looks sharp with the red and gold two-tone with stock chrome wheels, and with the black headlight and tail light covers.

I'm so obsessed with it, I took off the black V8 all wheel drive sticker and put the 5.0L Mustang emblem on.

I don't really like the stock grille, so I'm thinking on getting the billet type.

I also have installed 4 new speakers, because they were crappy and the sub was blown, so I had to bypass it. I also have installed an Alpine head unit as well.

I love this truck. I'll have it until it craps on me. Haha. :)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 6th October, 2009

1997 Ford Explorer XLT 8 cylinder from North America

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership1997
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission 8 cylinder Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.6 / 10
Distance when acquired200 miles
Most recent distance186000 miles
Previous carJeep Wagoneer

Summary:

Best vehicle I've ever owned

Faults:

Something wrong in the steering column at 5 years.

Some outside air vent doesn't open, so I can't regulate the temp of the heater. It's either off or hot. This also keeps air conditioning from working. Dealer said they'd have to take the dashboard apart to fix it, so I didn't get it fixed.

General Comments:

This SUV is phenomenal. I've only had one tune up and one brake job (just had them checked) in 186,000 miles.

Interior and exterior both still look like new (except carpets.)

I've never had to replace starter or fuel pump.

I just have the oil changed every 5,000 to 7,000 miles.

Car runs like it's still new.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th April, 2008

5th Jul 2012, 19:48

Half of ALL Explorer heater/AC's do this... NAPA has a $15 repair kit. It works every time! Takes about 45 minutes.

You do not have to take apart the dashboard. I just popped off the flat "controller" that sits on top of the HVAC unit behind the glove compartment. Here's the trick: you must use a hacksaw blade to cut away at the HVAC unit... it becomes a bit of a mess. Then you replace the "air-door" with the foam rubber around the sides. This is one of the 3 parts that comes in the NAPA kit. Once you can slip out the old air-door, you then slip in the new one. Then you clip the controller back into place (it may now only have 2 or 3 of the 4 clips left, but it's OK, it will work fine).

Last; you cover over the hole with something. I used duct tape on one... and just an old towel stuffed in behind the glove compartment on my other Explorer. It's tricky, but it works every time! (the old broken air-door always has a broken top... it's the part that fits into the stem that comes out of the controller).

It's a $15 fix that works every time. Just don't worry about cutting into the HVAC box. You will have the automatic temp control working again, no problem. Have fun!

Average review marks: 6.8 / 10, based on 25 reviews