1998 Ford Explorer Consumer Review: Reliable workhorse

1998 Ford Explorer - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

172 Total Reviews

Limited 4dr SUV (5.0L V8 AWD 4-speed Automatic)

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Build Quality
Reliability Value
Reliable workhorse
By Love to travel on


1998 Ford Explorer Limited 4dr SUV AWD


Purchased 2 years old with 34,000 miles. Original flaws repaired under warranty by first owner, but had to take it in to redo the front differential pinion seal. Relatively few problems over 7 years and 70,000 miles: the usual DPFE failure, cruise control servo that went out at 100,000, squeaky bushing requiring replacement of an anti-wind up bar in the rear suspension, very short lived ignition wires - replaced twice. Major annoyance: disappearing display of the MACH radio - replaced the power board myself; otherwise a very expensive repair. Minor annoyance: squeaky front axle seals in cold weather. Overall, compared to other vehicles that I owned, a very reliable, almost trouble- free performer.

Best Features

Powerful, troublefree 5.0 engine. Strong, chassis-on-frame, real SUV construction; unlike those newer sardine-can 'unibody' cars pretending to be SUVs. Easy access to spark plugs through the wheel well - the easiest I have seen on any modern vehicle. Troublefree A/C even at 100,000 - quite amazing!

Worst Features

Original brake pads dangerously weak - had to replace with aftermarket. Radio display fiasco should have been fixed by Ford for free. Headlights are very poor, due to the combined high/low beam design. Needs twin headlights, like Crown Vic. Fog lights are useless - needs cornering lights instead.
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