1998 Ford Explorer Consumer Review: Excellence

1998 Ford Explorer - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

176 Total Reviews

Sport 2dr SUV (4.0L V6 5-speed Manual)

Build Quality
Reliability Value
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
By Musclecar169 on


1998 Ford Explorer Sport 2dr SUV


I own a 1998 Ford Explorer and it has been a very reliable vehicle. Has a 2 inch lift, Duel Thrush Tube Exhaust, and Cooper STT tires on it, as i go offroding/muddin with it a fair amount. Used as a daily driver. It is a great vehicle and has done everything iv wanted it to do. Iv only had to put new brakes, roters ect. on it, as you would any vehicle.

Worst Features

The only things that need improvement would be the hatch on back, rear wiper, and the rocker panels. The bottom of the back hatch is a bit rusty as are the rocker panels. The rear wiper doesnt work as well. I know of many Explorers that have this problem.
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By deedee30
on 08/09/12 11:25 AM (PDT)

I own a 1998 Ford Explorer XLT V6 SOHC Automatic, 4x4 & AWD, w/ tow package. I have 198000 miles on it now, but I had to rebuild the transfer-case around 115,000 miles (operator error - my toddler turned on 4X4 and I didn't realize for a while and was driving on dry roads at speeds up to 60 mph sooo...); replaced first muffler system @ 84,000 miles, replaced heater core 3 times 85,000 miles/125,000 miles/185,000 miles (hopefully the last mechanic installed it correctly) unless these things are supposed to be a regular maintenance & I really don't think that is the case!; rebuilt the brake system (again operator error - I had a blonde moment and put wrong fluid in the brake fluid reservoir.); Rebuilt transmission at 198,000 miles, replaced door mechanism 2 times and on my 3rd one now, because some A-hole decided they wanted to break into my car while I was in the hospital giving birth to my 3rd child (they broke both door locks and still couldn't get in & even if they could they couldn't drive it away, because the tranny was still broken - wish they got caught so the cops could laugh at them when they realized they couldn't drive it!) I have replaced the upper and lower ball joints on both sides 75,000 miles & the R side at 194,000 miles (done by a lousy VIP Repair shop in Brunswick ME), because my husband did it again for the 3rd time at 196,000 miles!; Replaced the first & only water pump at 197,000 miles; replaced the serpentine belt @ 165,000 & @ 197,000 miles; replaced first alternator @ 193,000 miles (again at a lousy VIP Repair Shop in Gorham, ME) note to consumers: stay away from VIP if you want the repair to last! My husband replaced it again at 197,000 miles... those were the big ticket items. We have a so called oil leak, but nobody can find its source??? So we are ignoring it, because the oil level hasn't really budged (it could just be a case of I need work so I'll tell them there is a leak from a mechanic I thought I could trust in ME); Replaced radiator @ 197,000 too. We lost our cruise control at around 198,000 miles too, my mother in law broke the switch on the wheel and shortly after we lost our cruise control... so we replaced the switch but it still didn't work, found out today that it is probably a Deactivation Switch located on the Master Cylinder and it only cost $16.98 from the Ford Dealership in Hardeeville, SC... best thing of all it is so easy, I can fix it myself! We finally needed a new muffler at 198,000 miles... For the most part, this truck has been reliable if you don't mind having your car fixed every few years... and I am having a hard time just letting it die! WE always used Mobil 1 Full Synthetic oil & I used Slick 50 every 50,000 miles. The Engine appears to be maintenance free (except so called leak). We also did regular maintenance on it (oil changes, transmission fluid, Transfer case fluid, radiator fluid, etc.) Although I will admit we didn't keep up with Transfer Case fluid changes UNTIL we had to have it rebuilt, because prior to that I thought it was a sealed unit! So lately we made some recent repairs like new the Radiator, rebuilding the Tranny, replacing the shocks/strutts; water pump, alternator, tires, muffler, door locks, brake pads, etc. because we thought we wanted to sell it... since it is still worth $4800 even with 198,000 miles on it! BUT, my son is 16 and I am having a hard time parting with this truck, so I am trying to talk my husband into letting him have it instead. I guess I am saying that as long as this truck will drive, I will keep fixing it... We have many fond memories as a family driving it up and down the east coast on moves and on vacations. One year we drove 4 hours in a BLIZZARD from Buxton, Maine to Santa's Village in New Hampshire and never slid once and obviously didn't get stuck anywhere either... not even when we came to a dead stop in the middle of a mountain, because someone else got into an accident and went off the road! When we were moving again, the truck had no problem driving through the 2 foot deep snow (and that is not an exaggeration!) There was this one time, (on a Sunday drive), my husband said turn here it is a short cut and we ended up going over a narrow bridge with 2 skiffs for the tires to drive on and then up a steep and rocky & ruddy hill disbursed with bolders & ice... I got half way up the hill and said to my husband that "I think we should turn around, because this is ridiculous"... I am sure the truck would have made it all the way up, but where the heck was this road going to take us? So I backed down the hill turned around at the bottom and left, but it didn't leave us stranded!!! There was another time when I was looking for property in VA and ended up on a dirt road that turned a little ruddy and muddy, we got a little bogged down, and I wasn't looking to go 4x4ing but again, we didn't get stuck and I didn't get stranded.... so, in that respect, this truck has been very very reliable! So if you think the end of the world is coming then this is the truck I think I want to be driving!!! That said, if I can talk my hubby into keeping it (which won't be hard he likes it too), guess that means I will have to replace the spark plugs and wires at 200,000 if we do... I want to see if it will see 300,000 miles... and then... maybe 400,000 miles? It's sitting in the drive way un-driven, because I had to buy a 2006 Explorer (with 3rd row seating) to hold my baby, child, and teenager... otherwise, it would be driven & I do still take it out for a spin to keep it lubed & moving... on those days, it is hard to turn around and bring her back home... we just want the wind through our hair again! ;o)

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