1997 Ford Explorer XL 4.0 from North America


This vehicle is also a real gas hog


Since I bought the Ford Explorer the check engine light has come on for no reason. I disconnect the battery so the check engine light will go off and the computer re-sets itself. The dealer says we can put it on a scope and start changing sensors until we get the right one. I like the vehicle, but the check engine light coming on all the time is aggravating.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th May, 2004

5th Jul 2004, 11:50

We also have a 1997 Ford Explorer XLT with 86,000 miles on it and our Check Engine Light has come on. We can't find anything wrong with the car, just the light coming on.

19th Jul 2004, 00:08

I to have one that the light comes on all the time. My father-in-law owns a shop and taped over the light for me.

30th Apr 2005, 04:02

I have a 97 explorer in which the engine light is on all the time. It has an erractic idle speed in the morning and is worse when it is cold. The engine codes have been diagnosed and suggest both banks are running lean.

After much research, I have traced the issue to upper and lower intact manifold seals. Hope this helps.

9th May 2005, 14:28

With reference to the engine light, there is a good possibility that the lower intake manifold seals are leaking. I would also recommend checking for EGR valve faults (accompanied by erratic running from a cold start)

Learned this after many garage bills and reading bad reviews!

1997 Ford Explorer XLT AWD 5.0 V8 from North America


I love it


Entire heater core had to be replaced about one month after I got it. Not cheap.

Check engine light is on most of the time, since about 2 weeks after I got the vehicle, but there are no problems.

Factory stereo sub-woofer quit after about a month and a half, but I bought a much better one recently anyways.

General Comments:

I absolutely love my Explorer. The only thing I can say bad about it, is that it gets horrible gas mileage, seeing as how it is a V8 and all wheel drive. With rising gas prices, I will soon need to get a car with better mileage, and will severely miss my wonderful Explorer.

The leather interior is very comfortable.

My Explorer is very quick, and powerful.

It also has a lot of interior space.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 31st March, 2004

1997 Ford Explorer Eddie Baur 4.0 SOHC V6 from North America


A hole in the road you pour money into


The engine control unit (ECU) had to be replaced at 60,000 miles. The seats have started to wear badly and the interior panels are beginning to rattle and fall off. The outside driver's side door handle broke. Also, the lumbar adjustment on the drivers side seat broke so now it is frozen in one position. Heating Ventilation and Air Condition (HVAC) controller broke causing the heat to be turned on intermittently when the a/c was on, very expensive to repair because the entire dash had to be removed. Finally, the entire engine had to be replaced at 125,000 miles. The timing chain in the engine slipped and the teeth on the cam gears were chewed up and spit into the engine oil and that was the end of that.

General Comments:

The 4.0 liter engine is quick, however, the mere fact that the entire engine died at 125,000 miles is in my opinion unacceptable. I have not been impressed by the build quality either. There are numerous squeaks and rattles coming from the interior and the air suspension does not damp the ride well at all. Also some of the bulbs that illuminate the dash have burnt out. These too are expensive to replace because the entire dash must be removed. The Explorer is unreliable at best and not wise decision for anyone looking for a new car. I only have two compliments after owning this car. The 5 speed automatic transmission is brilliant and the JBL audio system sounds great. I would advise anyone looking for a nice used SUV to avoid this particular model like the plague.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 6th December, 2003

30th Jun 2004, 08:48

I agree, terrible choice if you want a SUV. My Eddie Bauer has cost me an average of $2,000.00 a year, every year since I've owned it. 5 years now. It only has 101,000mi.

19th Dec 2006, 16:30

Unfortunately, I cannot agree completely with the previous comments. I own a 1997 Ford Explorer (not even an Eddie Baure edition) and it has 116,000 miles and it has performed absolutely fantastic. We've just now (12/13/06) had to bring the car in for servicing. I too have had to repair the blend door in the A/C unit because it has the same symptom of giving off heat instead of A/C. Yes, the entire dash must be removed to correct this very minor problem! Be careful of misleading repair men, because we were told by a Ford dealership, the entire A/C system needed replacement (very expensive). We went to another repair shop because that seemed ridiculous, especially since we could get both cold A/C and heat from the unit, just not on the appropriate settings on the dial. Anyway, as far as performance and reliability, the Explorer is a very respectable vehicle. Problems that are encountered down the line are usually attributed to poor maintenance and hard driving, which may very well possibly be the reasons for the poor reviews! If the opportunity is there once again, I would purchase another Explorer in a flash!