The 2021 Ford Explorer Reliability According To Consumer Reports

By Max Anthony •  Updated: 02/18/21 •  3 min read

The 2021 Ford Explorer reliability according to Consumer Reports is abysmal. The 2021 Explorer has fared well in sales due to its fuel economy, good handling, roominess, and interior noise cancellation. However, the high sales are confusing due to the data released by Consumer Reports, which gave the 2021 Explorer a predicted reliability score of a minute 1%, which is one of the lowest ones they’ve given for the year, and it led to the Explorer’s overall score dropping down to 42/100. Needless to say, the cons of the 2021 Ford Explorer outweigh the pros, with reports of transmission, engine, and electronic problems plaguing some owners. Let’s take a look at some of them: 

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There Are 7 Issues When It Comes To 2021 Ford Explorer Reliability ( According To Consumer Reports ) :

A/C and Fuel Line Problems:

Another complaint states that the Explorer’s wiring harness contacted the A/C pulley or belt. This may have happened because the harness was not properly secured and it led to damaging the harness. One reported the car’s vapor fuel line insulation chafing through the plastic liquid line causing a fuel leak.

Electrical Malfunctions :
2021 Ford explorer reliability
The 2021 Ford Explorer on display | Photo via Ford

One owner reported his Explorer saying it is overheating, so it wouldn’t drive, and that Auto Hold would fault out temporarily at random. Because of the manual park release cover not being installed, warning alerts have been disabled the gear selected is not being displayed on another model. Another stated that the vehicle was stuck in factory mode.

 Poor Backup Camera :

The backup camera for some 2021 Explorers has been known to malfunction randomly. Owners consider the camera quality to be poor, especially during nighttime.  Visibility while reversing at night makes the task hazardous. It gets worse with snow and rain at night, becoming practically unusable.

2021 Ford Explorer GPS Problems :

The GPS on some Explorers has been known to randomly stop working. Some of them malfunctioned showing owners driving on different terrains and general inaccuracies. An owner said that his 2021 Explorer’s GPS had a line-driven red circle shown randomly.

Transmission Problems :

Some Explorer owners have reported that their gearboxes started becoming clunkier with mileage past 27,000, making grinding gear grinding and crunching sounds, while in first, second, or 3rd gear.  On colder days, some 2021 Explorers have reported random Transmission Faults which stopped them from going into drive altogether. Driving the vehicle led to total transmission failure.

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Loose Motor Mount :

CR has reported loose motor mounting being a common problem dealt by the 2021 Ford Explorer owners, as it causes motor vibration which can disconnect the axle from the engine, resulting in the loss of power, that can cause the car to crash. 

2021 Ford Explorer Miscellaneous Problems :

Owners also told Consumer Report that they also had issues with the engine, drive system, and power equipment. There have been many complaints for powertrain, ESC, service brakes, and vehicle speed control. Other major issues with the 2021 Ford Explorer include but aren’t limited to badly fastened fuel tank inlet valves, suspectedly fractured driveshafts. Plus, there are random ones for reduced seat back strength, due to missing recliner mechanisms.

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Max Anthony

Max is a gizmo-savvy guy, who has a tendency to get pulled into the nitty gritty details of technology and cars. He attended UT Austin, where he studied Information Science. He’s married and has three kids, one dog and a GMC truck and a Porsche 911. With a large family, he still finds time to share tips and tricks on cars, trucks and more.