1998 Ford Explorer Limited V8 from North America


Good looks, horrible reliability


Within the first week of purchase the automatic door locks broke.

Within the first month, the moon-roof began to leak.

The check engine light has come on over 7 times since I bought the car due to various emissions problems with sensors and valves.

The spark plugs/harness assembly has had chronic problems. Sputtering, backfiring and refusal to accelerate occurs regularly.

The rear wiper has broken three times.

The tie-rods and ball joints broke at 30,000 miles.

The catalytic converter had to be replaced at 50,000 miles.

The fuel pump went bad at 60,000 miles.

The Wilderness tires were recalled.

The cruise control system was recalled.

The stereo player lights fade in and out and the volume raises on it's own. The antenna will not descend.

The truck has been in the shop approximately 26 times since I bought it brand new.

General Comments:

Don't buy this truck unless you have lots of extra money laying around and lots of free time on your hands for the numerous repairs it will need. You can expect it to be in the shop at least once every 3 months. Complaining to Ford will not help either. Once you buy it, they don't care. I complained to them and they admitted that my repairs were excessive, but they did nothing to help me.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 18th March, 2004

18th May 2004, 13:11

I happen to disagree. I bought a 1998 Ford Explorer Limited in 2001 with 25,000 miles on it. It now has 99,000 and I have only had to have it in the shop once. Everything still works perfectly and I have had barely any problems with it, except for the horrible gas mileage. It has been a great car, so I don't know what you are talking about.

1998 Ford Explorer XLT 4.0L SOHC from North America


High value fun, even at high miles!


I bought this vehicle used from a private party. It had been well maintained and I got a complete service history with it.

The only major problem was a noise in the engine caused by a bad timing chain guide which wore out at 50,000 miles. Dealer replaced under warranty at no charge.

I have had no problems with this vehicle, but I have done a lot of maintenance.

Ball joints last only 50,000 miles in Michigan. To replace upper ball joints, you must replace the complete upper control arm. All four ball joints and a front end alignment will cost about $700 total parts and labor.

Shocks last about 35,000 miles.

The rear wiper arm can be damaged easily in a car wash.

Power door lock motors failed at around 100,000 miles, due to sticky door latch which must be replaced as well. $150 a door to repair.

Radio light fails, everyone seems to have had this failure. Warranty fixed it once. Prior owner paid $100 to fix again. Failed just after I bought the vehicle, so I bought a later model Ford 6-CD radio on Ebay for $200, no problems now and works great, plugs right in.

I replaced the leather steering wheel, for an instant new car "feel". Cost was $150., well worth it!

General Comments:

I liked this first used Explorer so much, we now have three 1998 Explorer XLTs at our home. All three have the 4.0L SOHC engine with 5 speed automatic transmission and 4-wheel drive. I paid $5500. to $6200. and they all were at around 100,000 miles.

These are great vehicles. Fast, very reliable, great highway cruisers, cheap to insure, very safe feeling. All family members like to drive them.

Fuel economy is not great, 14-16 in the city and 20-22 highway, but even a little highway use brings the average up close to 18 every tank.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th March, 2004

24th May 2005, 09:32

Great SUV. I have not seen very many comments about 1998 Explorers XLT over 175,000 miles, so I'll add mine. At very high miles, only small things have started to fail. My radio has never loss it's display, but I rarely use the Heater/AC. The only electrical problem I've seen was rarely the speedometer light will go out and come back on next time I start the car again. The driver side overhead interier light no longer works, but rarely comes back on.

The power door locks still work, but the driver side lock will get stuck in the unlocked or locked position. I have noticed some transmission "pulls" when stopping very suddnley, or hitting the gas again after a short cruise. This only happens after I have been driving for a few hours.

The back wiper gets stuck in the "down" position, until I lift it back up and it starts wiping.

I have replaced the steering column and fuel pump at 160,000 due to an accident. The thermostat got stuck around 140,000 and had to replace. Other than that, it has worked well. It's currently at 175,000 and runs great.

22nd Jul 2005, 08:49

My 1998 Explorer XLT has relatively low mile (119,000) and the only trouble so far was that I had to tinker with the rear wiper arm to get full coverage of the rear window. The fuel economy is an issue, but that is so with any SUV. Overall I love the truck.