1997 Ford Explorer SUV - Consumer Reviews

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Average Consumer Rating 148 Total Reviews
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Worst Decision I have Made
By NeverBuyFordAgain on 05/24/04 00:00 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1997 Ford Explorer SUV Sport 2dr SUV

Review

Based on other responses, I am not the only one who has had bad experience with the Ford "Exploder". That's a typical term from mechanics. I have put over $3k in repairs to it in the 3 years I owned it. Replaced timing belt, manifold work, and it has this issue with stalling whenever it is idle, fixed it once, won't pay to fix again, traded it in(and got barely anything for it), also my horn, power locks, and rear windshield wiper all quit on me. I will NEVER buy a FORD again.
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What happened to Quality being Job 1?
By Detroit on 05/09/04 00:00 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1997 Ford Explorer SUV Sport 2dr SUV 4WD

Review

I bought the vehicle but everything fell apart after 70000 miles: tranny @ 93k, radiator @ 100k, transfer case @ 105k. Never buy a leased SUV, you don't know what someone did to it. Overall though, I am very disappointed and would not recommend a Ford SUV to anyone. Maybe mine was just a lemon waiting to happen, but I'll never get another Ford SUV again. I can't even begin to say all the things that have gone wrong.
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my mule
By bugguy on 04/24/04 00:00 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1997 Ford Explorer SUV XLT 4dr SUV AWD

Review

overall it is a great suv, not as fancy as some of the other over-priced want to impress everyone trash on the market. Has been with us since new never had any real problems with it, except the annual trip to Flordia makes your rear feel like you sat on a peice of plywood, the seats are really uncomfortable on long trips (front & rear). Replaced exhast with Borla S.S., induction also, strongly recommend synthetic oils
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engine and tranny
By clbofaz on 03/27/04 00:00 AM (PST)

Vehicle

1997 Ford Explorer SUV XLT 4dr SUV 4WD

Review

Overall good vehicle but blew the timing chain at 70000 mi, had to replace with a 2000 model engine for 1000$, plus install. Runs great now (100000mi) except the tranny is starting to slip, especialy when taking off.Changing the oil is a pain due to its location and best left to thoes with the exspensive "special" tools. Nearly useless roof rack (, Had to have the o2 sensor replaced at 65000mi. Verry crummy spare tire lowering cable (frayed with the tire on it!). Gas mileage is decent for an suv and is rathar constant in both the city and highway(16/21).
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MY SECONDED EXPLORER
By GEORGE on 03/03/04 00:00 AM (PST)

Vehicle

1997 Ford Explorer SUV XLT 4dr SUV 4WD

Review

This is my second explorer, but we now have a 2002 new and i would not own any other car. my 1993 had 220,000 on it and ran great. This one has 219,986 miles and I still drive it on the road. My wife drives the 2002 and we love it.
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1997 Ford Explorer XLT 4WD
By bcbeachman on 03/03/04 00:00 AM (PST)

Vehicle

1997 Ford Explorer SUV XLT 4dr SUV 4WD

Review

Vehicle has been reliable and a pleasure to own. No real problems until after 50k miles, including of course the Firestone tire debacle which I think was blown out of proportion. Only major problems have been a leak in the air plenum o-ring, replaced lower ball joints and idle air control module going bad at 60k miles. Otherwise, garaged, change oil every 3k miles, and follow the manual for all other routine maintenance. 4.0 SOHC engine runs great, gas mileage good for an SUV, no abnormal wear on exterior or interior. Solid ride, great on the highway. Would definitely recommend any low mileage Explorer to this point.
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Love my Explorer!
By JBurg6 on 02/20/04 00:00 AM (PST)

Vehicle

1997 Ford Explorer SUV XLT 4dr SUV AWD

Review

This is not only a fun truck to drive, but it's a great family vehicle. We have been considering replacing it with a minivan, but everytime I get into my Explorer I think "No way am I giving up this power!" Not to mention, it looks GREAT! We love this truck and it has been very good to us. We would buy another Explorer in a heartbeat...of course, with our growing family - it may need to be an Expedition!
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V8 (5.0 LITRE) KICKS BUT!!
By Big Eddy Sochable on 02/02/04 00:00 AM (PST)

Vehicle

1997 Ford Explorer SUV XLT 4dr SUV 4WD

Review

I've had my V8 Explorer AWD XLT for over 6 years and driven it on the beach and in Snow storms. It's traction in all terrian is excellent (which gives the driver some nice peace of mind). I had 1992 V6 Explorer before this one and the V6 didin't cut it (too underpowered). The 92 I had got totalled when I got t-boned by a teenager in a Volvo in 1997. The truck rolled onto it's roof and the only injury I suffered was a dislocated shoulder. That's whay I went out and bought my 97 Explorer. GOOD, DEPENDABLE SUV!!
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Ford is a four letter word
By fooled me once on 01/14/04 00:00 AM (PST)

Vehicle

1997 Ford Explorer SUV XLT 4dr SUV 4WD

Review

I babied the tranny more than any other vehicle I owned...and also spent by far and away the most on it terms of preventive maintenance ( >$1000) and repairs (>$3000). The engine was wrecked due to poorly designed (plastic) timing chain tensioners (the chain powered the oil pump)FIrestone tire fiasco.head rests not safe. seat reclining lever poorly designed. U-Haul won't let trailers be towed by Explorers (2004). tire changing components fail unpredictably. locks rust easily. manual says towing max speed is 45 MPH!! Honda shop manual (Helm) MUCH better. No Tow hooks. climate control heater blend door $2 part failed $1100 estimate to fix (Bob Bell Ford)
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1997 Eddie Bauer
By Drained of money on 01/13/04 00:00 AM (PST)

Vehicle

1997 Ford Explorer SUV Eddie Bauer 4dr SUV AWD

Review

Quality & design - terrible. Spend >$2K/yr on repairs - thousands on electrical repairs due to poor design: fuel shutoff ran under floor mats & shorted; engine wire harness is in the wheel well, got wet & shorted. Completely replaced A/C unit & climate control system @ 60K, seat adjusters broke, replaced EGR valve 3x, transmision mounts went @ 100K, mouldings around windows came out & on & on. This has nothing to do w/ my driving of the vehicle. I have a 14 y/o Pontiac w/ 150K miles & never a repair. Very disappointed. Looks great but has been a mechanical nightmare. Complained to Ford about these issues to no avail. If on the fence, DON'T BUY ONE!
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