1999 Ford Explorer Sport 4.0 from North America


Quality control was off the day my car was built


I have to agree with everyone else on the newer Fords. Since purchasing my Explorer, I have replaced the motor and the transmission, rear wiper, factory radio, IAC, most ABS components (light is still on). Also the outside temp/compass died and most of the dash lighting.

At about 96k miles, the oil pressure dropped while driving down the freeway and threw a rod. (common failure with the 4.0's)

A month later, the new motor almost got trashed when the seams on the side of the radiator started leaking.

The IAC I have replaced twice.

After owning it three months, the ABS light came on. At that time, no one knew how to even begin diagnosing it, and the dealer wanted me to pay for them to look at it.

Factory radio ate one of my CDs, literally, about a month after I bought it.

Recently the transmission died. It wants to go forward no matter what gear it's in, including reverse. Have searched all over for a reasonable used one, however I have yet to find one that would be backed by the seller.

The rear wiper; I have found that it was very fragile, and if handled wrong, it will have to be replaced (handled = resting something on it while trying to load the back with luggage).

General Comments:

I deal with a lot of cars on a daily basis. My second car is a 98 E-class Mercedes with just over 100k miles. I have had problems with it as well, but they seem to be all related. (i.e. transmission).

My Explorer reminds me of my ex-wife. No matter how much money I throw at it, it always wants more.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 16th February, 2011

20th Feb 2011, 21:13

"Quality control was off the day it was built"

Sounds like a typical day at Ford to me...

21st Feb 2011, 16:55

Wow, this review reflects a completely different ownership experience than I've had with my 2002 Explorer Sport. It has nearly 123,000 miles, with no engine, transmission, ABS, or other problems. I had certainly not heard that the 4.0 L V-6 is "known" for throwing rods.

I always wonder how people treat their cars when they have these kinds of problems. Well, I don't mean to sit and pick this review apart, especially since there may be some differences between his 1999 and my 2002, but suffice it to say that I have had none of these problems. Of course, I do all my regularly scheduled maintenance, and treat my vehicle well. In other words I don't use the rear wiper as a step plate, hand rail, or towing hitch and guess what, it still works.

22nd Mar 2013, 17:21

You are awesome. I have not actually had any issues with any of my vehicles that these blogs said I would have, because I just keep up my vehicle and treat it with respect.

23rd Mar 2013, 14:01

We have owned two Explorer Sports. Not a single problem with either. They were both absolutely flawless. We have never had any problems with any Ford or GM vehicles.

3rd Sep 2013, 23:51

I purchased my 1998 Explorer used with 60k miles in 2001. I am at 190,000 miles with only minor problems; water pump, belt pulley, and the door locks. Other than that, the engine has been a champ; no leaks, no stalls, and the tranny is great. Synthetic oil, periodic tune ups transmission, A/C, crank case, front and rear differentials serviced at 100k miles. It will make it to 200k no problem and a lot more. I am going to drive this car into the ground.

The leather seats are still good. The paint has taken a little bit of a beating, but I live in California with 320 days of sunshine and 100 degree summer days.

Gas mileage is not great, but with no car payments since I don't remember when, this has been a great car for me.

8th Feb 2015, 09:22

There is a considerable difference indeed, between a 1999 Explorer and a 2002 (3rd Generation) Explorer.

The 2002 has a different transmission, and is notorious for issues and independent rear axles amongst other features.

9th Feb 2015, 16:56

The 2002 Explorer Sport is a different vehicle than the 2002 Explorer. The Sport has more in common with older models, while the 2002 Explorer (4-door) was a new design.

1999 Ford Explorer from North America


Reliable, but has some minor bugs


Gas gauge quit working all together.

Door locks either stick or don't work at all. I've had this fixed at the dealership twice.

Sometimes have problems changing gears out of park.

General Comments:

This car has its problems, and I fear it will soon break down. But it has been the most dependable car I've ever owned. It's 11 years old and has 220,000 miles on it, and it is still going! I find it amazing that it has lasted this long.

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

Review Date: 3rd July, 2010

10th Sep 2012, 15:25

I agree. I have a 1999 Ford Explorer 4 door XLT V6 SOHC with 220,000 miles, and besides small cosmetic issues, it's been the best car I've ever owned. And I've owned a lot; new and used.