The Ford Explorer Sport Trac was a vehicle produced by the Ford brand for a brief period between 2001 and 2010 when production ceased. Instead of the customary two doors of a vehicle, this pickup had four. You might be wondering which Ford Explorer Sport Trac years to avoid if you want to buy this car used.
Years of the Ford Explorer Sport Trac that are best avoided are those that won’t perform well on the road. To keep a driver content and safe, the ideal car has both safety features and low-cost upkeep.
An excellent way to get a new automobile and save money is to buy a brand-new-to-you SUV. Finding out which model years of your selected automobile are the most trustworthy first is a smart idea, though.
It still has issues despite being a well-known brand with some of the most committed drivers. Which Forester model years should you stay away from?
We’re here to support you in making a choice. Some Ford Explorer Sport Trac years are better off avoided than others for driving. To keep a driver content and safe, the perfect vehicle incorporates both safety features and affordable maintenance. We hope that this aids you in the procedure.
Which Ones are the Ford Explorer Sport Trac Years to Avoid
A distinctive design that has withstood the test of time is the Ford Explorer Sport Trac. To get the most out of your Ford Explorer Sport Trac, you should steer clear of a few certain model years.
Ford Explorer Sport Trac XLT by User: Kmf164 / CC BY-SA 2.5. Ford manufactured the Explorer Sport Trac between 2001 and 2010 when production of the model came to an end as a result of the recession and high gasoline prices
The Ford Explorer Sport Trac years to avoid are:
- The Ford Explorer Sport Trac years to avoid 2001
- The Ford Explorer Sport Trac years to avoid 2002
- The Ford Explorer Sport Trac years to avoid 2004
- The Ford Explorer Sport Trac years to avoid 2005
- The Ford Explorer Sport Trac years to avoid 2007
For the Ford Explorer Sport Trac, these are some of the worst years.
Each of these years was the worst for the Ford Explorer Sport Trac due to a few problems. So that you have a better understanding of what to anticipate with these flawed models, we’ll discuss these next.
Why Do They Feature In the List of Ford Explorer Sport Trac Years to Avoid?
These years were best avoided due to a few notable issues. To help you fully understand the problems with this automobile, we’ll discuss the exact complaints that were filed in each area.
Some of the main factors that make these years worthwhile to avoid, according to CarComplaints.com, include:
- Engine problems.
- Transmission difficulties.
- Electrical issues
- Body paint problems
These were the most noticeable problems that affected the Ford Explorer Sport Trac vehicles that we previously discussed.
If you want a great secondhand automobile, look for one with a history of minor problems. So that you may make the greatest decision for your life, let’s discuss why these are the Ford Explorer Sport Trac years to steer clear of.
1. Engine-Related Issues
The Ford Explorer Sport Trac models from 2001, 2005, and 2007 experienced the greatest engine issues. Customers discovered that the average cost of car repairs affecting the engine was significantly more than the price of the used model as a whole.
A few of the particular engine issues are as follows:
- Timing chain adjusters that are broken.
- The check engine light is always on.
- Rubber belt noise or chirping
Drivers of these automobiles had to deal with all of these and more.
2005 Ford Explorer Sport Trac by Theshadow97 / CC BY-SA 4.0. The worst engine problems were found in the 2005 Ford Explorer Sport Trac models. Customers found that the average cost of engine-related auto repairs was far higher than the overall cost of the used vehicle.
The majority of drivers are aware that engine problems may be expensive and dangerous. Some models’ engines won’t cause you as many problems. To get the most out of your investment and avoid dealing with frequent Ford Explorer Sport Trac engine failure, stay away from these models.
2. Issues with the Transmission
The Ford Explorer Sport Trac’s secondary concern is transmission failure. A car’s gearbox is another expensive part to deal with, particularly if it often breaks down while moving. Transmission issues were most frequently reported with the 2007 model and 2002 vehicles.
The following were some of the transmission failure problems:
- Transmission breakdown
- Shifting gears too slowly.
It’s not only inconvenient when the transmission fails. Extreme situations, such as high expenses and a malfunctioning automobile, might destroy your day.
Transmission issues may be just as difficult and problematic as an unstable engine. To avoid transmission problems, keep away from the 2002 and 2007 models.
3. Experiencing Electrical Related Problems
We’ll also talk about the Ford Explorer Sport Trac’s propensity for electrical problems. Even while they aren’t as expensive as engine or gearbox breakdowns, these are nevertheless annoying.
Haywire gauges, inaccurate fuel gauges, and a car that died while being driven were some of the most elementary electrical issues that consumers encountered.
The 2004 Ford Explorer Sport Trac was discovered to have the most significant problems, making it one of the Ford Explorer Sport Trac years that should be avoided. The 2004 model had many electrical difficulties.
4. Issues with Seat Belts and Airbags
Engine issues with the Ford Explorer Sport Trac were most prevalent in 2001, 2005, and 2007 model years.
Customers learned that the average cost of replacing a car engine was far more than the entire cost of the used model. Some of the specific engine concerns include the ones listed below:
- Timing chain adjusters that are broken.
- Rubber belt rumbling
All of these problems and more must be handled by the drivers of these cars. The majority of drivers are aware that engine issues may be expensive and dangerous.
If you want to get the most out of your Ford Explorer Sport Trac purchase and avoid dealing with serious engine failure, stay away from these models.
You won’t have as many issues with the engines of some models.
2003 to 2004 Ford Explorer Sport Trac XLT by IFCAR. One of the model years of the Ford Explorer Sport Trac that should be avoided is 2004, which was found to have the most serious issues. The 2004 model suffered from several electrical issues.
5. Issues with the Body Paints
Are you looking for excuses to stay away from the Ford Explorer Sport Track from 2002? On the right side of the deck, the issues with the body and painting will be resolved.
Ford sport tack models from 2001 to 2007 have received complaints about their body paint from people all around the world. We discovered a lot of paint that was chipping off the body of these models. Therefore, avoid these if you want a sports track with a robust body.
Which Ford Explorer Sport Trac Years are Safe to Purchase?
For years, we’ve talked a lot about avoiding the Ford Explorer Sport Trac. What about those that are risk-free to use, though? Knowing the greatest models and the worst ones is equally important. With this knowledge, you may make a well-informed decision by being aware of all your possibilities.
Some of the greatest years for the Ford Explorer Sport Trac, according to CarComplaints, are:
- The Ford Explorer Sport Trac Best year 2008
- The Ford Explorer Sport Trac Best year 2009
- The Ford Explorer Sport Trac Best year 2010
The Ford Explorer Sport Trac has enjoyed some of its greatest years to date throughout this time.
The longer you wait to use this particular kind of car, the better. In 2007, the Ford Explorer Sport Trac had a revamp. It was an improvement over the 2007 version but still needed work. The models from 2008, 2009, and 2010 clearly show this improvement. The Sport Trac becomes better as it gets more current as a car.
Which Ones are the General Issues with the Ford Explorer Sport Trac
The Ford Explorer Sport Trac provided owners with a lot of value and usefulness before it was retired in 2010. Both on and off-road, the car was handled well and with great competence. It has its share of issues, just like many other automobiles. The typical Ford Explorer Sport Trac issues are listed below.
1. Dashboard Gauge Cluster Intermittently Working
Owners of the first-generation Ford Explorer Sport Trac frequently complain about the dash gauge cluster sporadically turning on and off by itself. Even when the key is not turned to the ON position, this occurs. The radio could exhibit the same behavior.
This occurs as a result of a problem with the wiring that enters the cluster’s rear. One or more wires may have broken, or the connector pins connecting to the gauge cluster may have broken. The pins can be misplaced or put upside down.
The problem may be fixed by either replacing the gauge cluster or repairing the pins and frayed wires. Another possibility is that you have mice in your garage. Mice have a reputation for gnawing on wires, which can lead to minor and serious electrical problems in many cars.
2. Difficulty in Starting the Car
Our second most frequent issue with the Ford Explorer Sport Trac is a widespread issue. When you turn on the engine, it takes a while or is difficult to start. Whenever you turn on your key, your Sport Trac pickup ought should be able to start in a few seconds.
When it doesn’t, a malfunctioning fuel rail pressure sensor is typically to blame. A damaged ignition coil or engine crank sensor are examples of further issues. Hooking up a pressure gauge to the fuel system and checking the fuel pressure is the simplest place to start when troubleshooting the issue.
2004 Ford Explorer Sport Trac by order_242 / CC BY-SA 2.0. One of the Ford Explorer Sport Trac model years to stay away from is 2004, which has been shown to have the most serious issues. Numerous electrical issues plagued the 2004 model.
Check how quickly the gauge rises to its highest level when you turn the key to the ON position. If it’s taking longer than usual, you could have a clog or a little leak that’s stopping the pressure from rising. After a few minutes, leaking will also cause the pressure to decrease from its greatest level.
The fuel pressure regulator may be at blame for this. The best course of action in this situation is to confirm in your vehicle’s handbook where the pressure should go per the manufacturer’s design.
Every time you turn on the engine, you’ll have lengthy cranks if the pressure is too low during start-up. Every time the fuel injectors lose fuel due to a leak or a malfunctioning fuel pressure regulator, the fuel pump is compelled to pump pressure to the fuel injectors.
It’s also essential to make sure your pressure sensor is connected to a vacuum. A scan tool may be used to graph the data. This helps determine if your fuel pressure is too high or too low.
3. Ineffective Blend Door Actuator
When the blend door actuator malfunctions, you’ll notice some symptoms. One of them is the ability to hear a ticking, pounding, or clunking sound coming from under the dashboard whenever you change the temperature indicator from hot to cold. You could also see that when you want it to, your air conditioner doesn’t adjust the temperature of the air that comes out.
The actuator may be defective or the blend door housing may be fractured. Parts that have cracked cannot mesh correctly. It could be the reason the mix door skips within the groove. If the blend door mechanism is harmed, the relevant elements will stop functioning properly.
A little object that may have dropped through one of the vents is another potential reason for the system to break. It’s possible that a youngster or an object dropped from the top of your dash and inserted it. The blend door can bind and become stuck as a result. A jammed blend door will prevent the actuator from doing its function effectively.
The actuator’s performance may potentially be impacted by power problems. You should check your fuses and see whether the actuator is receiving power. In the original Ford Explorer Sport Trac, accessing the blend door and the actuator is difficult. The area with the cup holders has to be taken out. This will make it possible to access the interior of the dashboard.
While doing your diagnosis, don’t forget to unplug the actuator connector. Additionally, check for corrosion. The actuator can be unplugged and replugged to see if it still functions. Additionally, check to see whether the area around the mix door is blocked by anything.
4. Leaky Coolant
One of the most frequent issues with the 4.0-liter Ford Explorer Sport Trac is a coolant leak. The air may smell pleasant, there may be an overheating situation, or you may see wetness on some of your coolant parts as symptoms.
Checking for pressure inside the coolant system is the first step in diagnosing this issue. This is especially true if there are no leaks visible. Simply open your radiator during a cold spell and attach your pressure tester to it. Watch it while you pump it up to around 15 to 16 psi. You lose pressure if it decreases.
A leak from the outside is the main culprit here. The leak in the Ford Explorer Sport Trac may be coming from the thermostat housing. It ultimately fractures since it is made of plastic. Ford chose to replace it with a metal casing since it happened much too frequently.
To start, you must pinpoint the location of the leak. The cooling system must then be drained and thoroughly cleaned before the damaged component is replaced as a whole, filled with the manufacturer’s recommended fluid, and the system is re-pressurized. This ought to aid in resolving the issue.
2002 Ford Explorer Sport Trac rear by Sfoskett~commonswiki / CC BY-SA 3.0. Transmission failure is a minor worry for the Ford Explorer Sport Trac. Another costly component is the gearbox of an automobile, especially if it frequently fails while the vehicle is in motion. The 2007 model and the 2002 models of the Ford Explorer Sport Trac received the greatest reports of transmission problems.
5. Frequent Failure of the Front Wheel Bearing
The front wheel bearings are our final often seen Ford Explorer Sport Trac issue. When your bearings are worn down, you’ll hear a growling sound every time your wheels spin. With speed, the noise tends to get louder.
Your wheel bearings are worn out if your wheels move or make any other unusual noises, such as clunking. This includes having a loose-feeling steering wheel.
The Ford Explorer Sport Trac, which was manufactured from 2001 to 2005, had wheel bearings that can only be altered manually, unlike other vehicles. Additionally, they include a seal at the rear of the rotor that is designed to prevent moisture from getting into the bearings. Additionally, it’s designed to contain grease. When it malfunctions, the oil escapes from the bearings and lets moisture in.
Without oil, the bearings will spin with the wheel and get too hot. They may be swept, leaving trash within.
Ford added a nut to the fitment’s front side to enable manual adjustment. Pay particular attention to this, especially when you address the bearing issue. Your wheels may move if the nut is not applying sufficient pressure to the bearings.
Ideally, you must replace the bearings, oil them well, and reassemble everything using a new seal. The nut shouldn’t be very tight. This can result in binding. When changing your bearings, be sure you squeeze enough oil into the cavity. Make sure there is plenty in both the rotor and the central region.
The oil that warms up over time is typically to blame if you fix everything but the wheel is still making noise after a month. As it melts, the bearings press closer together and the nut loosens as a result. It has to be readjusted. This is done to stop grease from escaping.
Your wheel bearings need to be serviced and adjusted correctly. Use fresh grease and new parts. After the first several hundred miles, it’s also advisable to double-check everything. You should also check the remainder of your front end to ensure that the ball joints and tie rods are in working order.
Is the Explorer Sport Trac a Trustworthy Car?
It depends on some preconceived notions. If you simply take the price of the Ford Explorer Trac into account, you can lose motivation. However, there are serious issues with the engine and transmission. As a consequence, even though their dependability is unknown, we advise you to stay away from certain model years since they are not worthwhile for you.
How Much Is the Typical Ford Explorer’s Maximum Mileage?
A Ford Explorer typically has a lifespan of 10 to 17 years. You should be able to get closer to 15 years out of a new Ford Explorer with routine maintenance and 12,000 miles a year.
Why Did Ford Cease Production of the Sport Trac?
As a result of the recession and high gasoline prices, Sport Trac retired in 2010. Ford likely wouldn’t have needed to resuscitate the Ranger if it had kept working on the Explorer Sport Trac.
Any automobile is a significant investment, so when choosing one, you should be sure you’re getting the most value for your money. An excellent truck from the Ford brand is the Explorer Sport Trac. There are several secondhand choices accessible for prospective consumers, some of which are higher-quality than others.
When purchasing a car, you must make sure you’re receiving the greatest value possible because you have just made a big investment. Among pickup trucks, the Ford Explorer Sport Trac is excellent. Prospective buyers have access to a variety of used options, some of which are of greater quality than others.
We hope you may find this material beneficial. You have a wide range of choices when it comes to purchasing a secondhand vehicle. It’s challenging to set a year restriction. Even though there will always be automobile issues, some are better than others.
Now that you have gathered your data, you may shortlist the Ford Explorer Sport Trac models that best fit your needs. We hope that this information was useful. When buying a secondhand automobile, you have a lot of choices.
It’s difficult to limit the year. Even though there will always be car problems, some are better than others. With your gained information, you can now select the Ford Explorer Sport Trac model that best suits your needs.
Jim Wicks is the founder of MotorVehicleHQ. With over two decades of experience in the automotive industry and a degree in Automotive Technology, Jim is a certified car expert who has worked in various roles ranging from a mechanic, car dealership manager, to a racing car driver. He has owned more than 20 cars over the past 15 years. Ask him about any vehicle you see on the road and he can tell you the make, model and year. He loves the aesthetics of all things cars, and keeps his vehicles in pristine condition.
In his free time, Jim enjoys getting his hands dirty under the hood of a classic car or taking long drives along the country roads. His favorite car? A 1967 Shelby GT500, a true classic that, according to Jim, “represents the pure essence of American muscle.”