1. Homepage
  2. »
  3. Cars
  4. »
  5. Ford
  6. »
  7. 3 Ford Explorer Transmission Problems You Should Know

3 Ford Explorer Transmission Problems You Should Know

Ford Explorer Transmission Problems

3 Ford Explorer Transmission Problems You Should Know

Henry Ford established the American automobile manufacturer, Ford in 1903. In 1991, Ford Motor Company unveiled the first mid-size Ford Explorer with four doors. It was introduced to take the place of the small SUV Bronco II. The Ford Explorer, now in its sixth generation of production, has long been considered one of the best automobile options for car owners.  

In the Ford Explorer, the transmission is automatic. It does not require manual input to shift gears like manual or CVT transmission vehicles. Some Ford Explorer models experience transmission problems like transmission slipping or failure and car jerking.

Ford Explorer transmission problems were most frequently reported in 2002 to 2006 models. Notably, Customers’ main complaint was that these vehicles’ transmissions keep a gear engaged longer than is necessary. As a result of this delay in gear shifting, the engine makes a lot of noise. 

3 Transmission Problems With The Ford Explorer

Photo Credit: Pexels

Ford Explorer transmission problems can appear as, among other things, delayed gear changes, grinding when accelerating, and jerking of the vehicle. These issues could cause more transmission damage or an accident if you ignore them. Below are the transmission problems that plague Ford Explorer, their causes, and solutions;

Transmission Slipping or Difficulty Shifting Gears

Photo Credit: Pexels

Transmission slipping means that the transmission slips and changes from one gear to another without you shifting gears yourself. This transmission problem is most prevalent in the 2004 Explorer. 

Causes Of Transmission Slipping

A worn-out clutch causes slipping in the manual transmission of the Ford Explorer. However, for automatic transmission in recent models of the Explorer, slipping is caused by:

  • Wear and tear on the clutch plates, transmission bands, and solenoid packs.
  • Difficulty with the torque converter.
  • Insufficient transmission fluid

Ford Explorer Transmission Slipping Fixes

  • Rebuild or replace transmission
  • Top up transmission fluid monthly 
  • Replace shit solenoid and transmission bands
  • Replace faulty worn-out clutch

Car Jerking

Ford explorer parked on a lawn
Photo Credit: Pexels

Transmission issues in the Ford Explorer can cause jerking. New models of the Ford Explorer use automatic transmission, it is designed to provide a smoother driving experience than other transmissions. But when you observe a car jerk or rough driving, it is a problem you should not neglect. During a tight turn, this jerk may trigger a shutter or vibration in the driving. It may also generate thump or clunk sounds with mild acceleration or driving below 60 km/hr. This is the most common transmission issue in the 2006 Explorer.

Causes Of Car Jerking

Car jerking in Ford Explorer can be caused by either of the following;

  • Low transmission fluid
  • Clogged transmission filter
  • Contaminated automatic transmission fluid (ATF)
  • Faulty mass airflow sensors

Ford Explorer Car Jerking Fixes

  • Replace the transmission module
  • Replace the spark plugs
  • Change the transmission filter or air/fuel filter
  • Replace the solenoid assembly
  • Reprogram the transmission control using Ford technical service bulletins (TSB).

Car Stall Due To Transmission Failure

Photo Credit: Pexels

The torque converter automatic transmission on the Ford Explorer is notorious for stalling. The engine constantly stalls at low speeds, which is a serious issue. This stalling occurs when the clutch on the transmission fails to disengage. And because the engine and transmission are permanently coupled, the half shaft or differential cannot rotate. 

Causes Of Car Stalling 

Car stalling in Ford Explorer can be caused by;

  • Transmission failure as a result of a persistent transmission issue. When a failure occurs, the transmission seizes and the vehicle comes to a halt. 
  • Low transmission fluid
  • Failed transmission solenoids
  • Poor transmission fluid maintenance 

Ford Explorer Car Stalling Fixes 

How Much Does It Cost To Repair a Ford Explorer Transmission?

Photo Credit: Pexels

Depending on the car, a new Ford Explorer transmission might cost more than $3,500. If the transmission is not too damaged, you can opt for less expensive minor transmission services. These services include fluid changes and transmission fluid flushes and they are much less expensive, sometimes costing less than $200. 

A transmission flush could also be used instead of replacing the transmission. Although it is more expensive than a conventional fluid change. This is usually due to the length of time transmission flush takes to complete. Transmission flushing is done by replacing the fluid in the pan and removing fluid from the cooler lines and other transmission components. A typical Ford Explorer transmission flush would require approximately 10 quarts of fluid to completely clean and flush the system.

Final Thoughts 

The Ford Explorer is a dependable vehicle with a large number of satisfied customers. However, there are a few common complaints about the vehicle that you should look into if you’re thinking about buying one. It is advisable to investigate these Ford Explorer transmission problems before purchasing the vehicle.


Could transmission be the cause of jerking in my Ford Explorer?

Yes, a faulty transmission can cause a car like Ford Explorer to jerk although it is not so common. As you accelerate, the transmission control module regulates the shifting, so there may be delays and your car may jerk as a result.

Why does my Ford Explorer jerk at 50 mph?

Your Ford Explorer could be jerking because it has a dirty or damaged mass air flow sensor. Mass airflow sensors monitor air intake and transmit information to the engine control module (ECM). 

What does a jerking transmission in Ford Explorer feel like?

Even with a full-throttle pull, a jerking transmission in car models like the Ford Explorer causes the feeling of hesitation when accelerating.  

Related articles