1996 Ford Explorer Consumer Review: Still Working

1996 Ford Explorer - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

130 Total Reviews

Limited 4dr SUV (4.0L V6 4x4 4-speed Automatic)

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By slinsk on


1996 Ford Explorer Limited 4dr SUV 4WD


Bought my 4.0L, 4dr, 4wd, auto XLT as a new loss leader from the Sunday newspaper auto section in 1996 for $23k. Had to replace a blown head gasket twice. First time was my fault because thermostat was bad and temp gage wasn't working so engine overheated & blew the head gasket. 2nd time was just from age & I was able to save a few thousand by doing the labor myself (~$700 in parts & machine shop work on the valves/heads). Now has 157k on it. Transmission is starting to slip but I understand that's normal wear & tear with this many miles. Other than that, just had the usual, tires, alternator, brakes stuff. The truck has been a workhorse.

Best Features

Dependability & all-weather handling but have rarely used the 4wd. Love the hatchback/rear storage, nice sound system (upgraded). Best overall feature is versatility

Worst Features

Would have liked a more heavy duty transmission. Recessed oil filter is a pain to get off sometimes without spilling dirty oil. Would like more power ports - especially in read seat. Entire dashboard, while functional, looks very plain and "plasticy". Would like some kind of integrated maintenance reminder system based on time or mileage.
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By des1014
on 01/04/14 19:42 PM (PST)

Bought mine new in 1996, still strong. It has 750,000 miles on it (approx) because it's on its third odometer. Second engine, transmission and transfer case. Just finished a cross country trip from coast to coast. It has been quite a workhorse for me. Loved it for all those years.

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