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looking for honest opinions on 5th Gen Ex


machine4321

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We just picked up our second fifth GEN explore. The first was a 13 XLT and in general was a pretty good vehicle we did have problems with the Aircon as well as the paint peeling issues. Having owned it for four years I said that I would not buy another one just due to the quality control that I was seeing as the vehicle aged. How ever, nothing else ticked all the boxes,7 seats, turbo was a plus and we just like the more aggressive style of the explorer. We did try a 17 sport and really really liked it ,there was a decent amount of changes between the two models and it does feel overall that it's built a little bit better. If you're the type of person to keep the vehicle for 10 to 15 years I would probably recommend Honda/Acura or Toyota Lexus. I do plan to keep this vehicle for a while. hopefully I can stay ahead of any issues as I will be doing my own maintenance this time due to a dealer network that has been subpar
 
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J_C

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I don't think that one year is a long time because this generation of Explorer is still very young and we'll know a lot more about things like the water pump each and every year that goes by.
This generation is now 6, going on 7 years old in real years opposed to model year #'s. The 3.5L NA older still. There have been over 1 million of this generation sold in the US, not counting other popular Fords with the 3.5L, or Mercury.

There were 4 prior generations, averaging a 5 year run for each in the ~20 year span from 1991 to 2010. Wait much longer and they'll have moved on to the 6th generation.
 
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Sixonemale

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This generation is now 6, going on 7 years old. The 3.5L NA older still. There have been over 1 million of this generation sold in the US, not counting other popular Fords with the 3.5L.

There were 4 prior generations, averaging a 5 year run for each in the 20 year span from 1991 to 2010. Wait much longer and they'll have moved on to the 6th generation.
I'm fully aware of these stats and have posted the exact year and models of vehicles that have had the 3.5L NA in the "Water Pump Failure Leads to Dead Engine" thread. I've also said that I believe Explorer owners are different than Edge, MKX, owners, etc., because many of them are used to running their trucks into the ground. A lot of Explorer owners have owned sub 5th generation models and expect their truck/car to run many miles with predictable reliability and low cost maintenance. I believe these owners who now own the 5th generation Explorer will be much more vocal about the water pump issue that owners of all other vehicle models like the Edge, MKX, etc., because they have higher expectations based on past experience.
 




Abubakar M. Khan

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I bought a 2016 XLT with 10k miles about two months ago..

Haven't had any leaking issues with moonroofs
No exhaust smell issue
No power liftgate issue
No visit to the dealer as of yet
Everything working as it should.

I'm happy. If the mirrors folded in automatically id be happier but thats just nitpicking :laugh:
 




J_C

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I'm fully aware of these stats and have posted the exact year and models of vehicles that have had the 3.5L NA in the "Water Pump Failure Leads to Dead Engine" thread. I've also said that I believe Explorer owners are different than Edge, MKX, owners, etc., because many of them are used to running their trucks into the ground. A lot of Explorer owners have owned sub 5th generation models and expect their truck/car to run many miles with predictable reliability and low cost maintenance. I believe these owners who now own the 5th generation Explorer will be much more vocal about the water pump issue that owners of all other vehicle models like the Edge, MKX, etc., because they have higher expectations based on past experience.

Oh, well I have no such illusions about my 5th gen being cheap and easy to repair, 3.5L NA aside... but that's a general auto industry trend, not isolated to Ford and I'm still not taking it to a dealership which IMO is like bending over and asking for a good *** ****. Maybe your dealership is better than those around here, but I bet not much if any cheaper for *honest* work.

I've seen the Water Pump Failure topic and see nothing unusual about it, just a small % of people being vocal about a problem, out of over 1 million sold. That doesn't diminish the burden for those owners it affects, but IF you bend over for a dealership, a lot of questionable things can happen. Many will try to find the way to make a repair the most costly possible, within what they think the vehicle is worth so you opt to do the repair, or trade it in on a new one.

That's not a $7K repair. You can get a low mi. used engine put in for under $3K, if you feel like continuing to drive a vehicle when there's obviously something wrong so the damage is severe, or maybe the dealership is just screwing the owner over, since there was no mention (that I saw) of letting it cool down then trying to run it, just getting it towed then putting yourself at the mercy of a greedy, dishonest dealership.
 




Sixonemale

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I've seen the Water Pump Failure topic and see nothing unusual about it, just a small % of people being vocal about a problem, out of over 1 million sold. That doesn't diminish the burden for those owners it affects, but IF you bend over for a dealership, a lot of questionable things can happen. Many will try to find the way to make a repair the most costly possible, within what they think the vehicle is worth so you opt to do the repair, or trade it in on a new one.
The water pump thread is the equivalent to reading a book and if you read it closely many water pump repairs have gone under other repair titles. I don't think failure rate of water pumps at less than 150,000 miles is a small percent, larger than you probably think. In addition to that two service agents just said they are seeing more and more failed water pumps come in on the Explorer. I have no problem spending $1,500 to get the job done right, but what I have a problem with is that failure of the $40 part could cause coolant leaking into the oil and seizing the engine with potentially no or very little warning. Be patient and let's watch this play out with the Explorer owners. I'm betting failure rate before 150,000 miles is greater than you think it will be, but time will tell and I really hope I'm wrong.
 
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J_C

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^ This is the largest Explorer forum on the internet, AFAIK. Anyone can find it with a google search "Ford Explorer Forum" and it's both the #1 and #2 hits. If 100 people post that they have the water pump failure, surely it will look like an epidemic, yet even then if only 1 out of 100 people having the failure do so, that would be 10,000 affected.

The 3.5L was the more popular engine until around 2014 or '15, so we're talking about roughly half a million sold. 10,000 is only 2% of half a million.

It is expected that more and more have the water pump failure as time goes by. This is true of any part prone to wear on any vehicle. I'm not excusing the poor design, just stating it like I see it.

As far as seizing the engine with no warning, I don't buy that. The OP of the topic you mentioned, stated noticing something wrong but kept driving for 10 minutes. In retrospect that seems like it was a bad decision, and we have the benefit of that hindsight, and can check oil and coolant like we're supposed to be doing anyway.

Maybe if someone is tired, drunk, or distracted enough, but IMO people shouldn't be driving in such states. Real world, I know it happens, but see it as just another one of the risks if you drive when you shouldn't be, and hopefully a blown engine is the only bad outcome instead of a wreck.
 
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peterk9

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This thread seems to be straying from what the OP wanted and is starting to mirror the thread on water pumps. Let's get back on track. Thank you.

Peter
 




Sixonemale

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^ This is the largest Explorer forum on the internet, AFAIK. Anyone can find it with a google search "Ford Explorer Forum" and it's both the #1 and #2 hits. If 100 people post that they have the water pump failure, and even then if only 1 out of 100 people having the failure do so, that would be 10,000.

The 3.5L was the more popular engine until around 2014 or '15, so we're talking about over half a million sold. 10,000 is only 2% of half a million.
First, we are going way off topic from the original intent of this thread. Secondly, this engine was put in this generation of Explorer beginning in 2011, so six years later, and let's say 15,000 miles driven per year, that would be about 90,000 miles driven per Explorer for 2011 models, 75,000 miles driven on 2012 models, and 60,000 miles on average driven on 2013 models and so on. Again, this generation of Explorers is young and let's give it some time. If it's 1 water pump failure out of 100 Explorers that occur before driven 150,000 miles driven that would be a great and acceptable statistic, but I highly doubt statistically it would be that low. This is my last comment on this topic within this thread.
 
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Magnetic619

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I lived and breathed Honda cars for some time and had considered adding a Honda Pilot back in 2015. After test driving a 15 Explorer Limited and a 15 Pilot EX I opted for the Explorer. Technology was the selling point for me. Two years later I traded in for the 17 Ex Sport, I wanted the power and the innovation of an American made twin turbo suv. Gas mileage isn't great, lead foot, but no mechanical problems so far.
 




bdginmo

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I've had a 2014 with the 3.5L NA, and now am driving the 2016 with the 2.3L Ecoboost. The 2.3L is far and away a better engine, and in my opinion worth the extra price. I've been getting 27 mpg on the highway, and in 20,000 miles of driving, mostly city driving, I am averaging 22.5 mpg.

The 3.5L was lucky to get 20 on the highway and it got 14 around town. Yeah, the 2.3L doesn't have the smooth sound of the 3.5L, but it has a lot more low end torque that comes on very quickly. I'd buy it again.
When we were looking I was trying to decide between the 2.3L EB or the 3.5L NA. The salesman tried to talk me out of the EB. I have no idea why. In the end it didn't matter because we got the Platinum with the 3.5L EB. But, it is good to know that people are really liking the 2.3L EB engine.
 




machine4321

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I lived and breathed Honda cars for some time and had considered adding a Honda Pilot back in 2015. After test driving a 15 Explorer Limited and a 15 Pilot EX I opted for the Explorer. Technology was the selling point for me. Two years later I traded in for the 17 Ex Sport, I wanted the power and the innovation of an American made twin turbo suv. Gas mileage isn't great, lead foot, but no mechanical problems so far.
The Pilot is just a bit to "Vanilla" for us. The tech in the Ex is a huge selling point for me. I love the new sync as well. I do think they have the best set up dash/display out there (maybe audi might be a tad cooler). Functionally, I cant see anywhere for major improvements. The dual pads work well and I can access the options easily,

I will add, Im tracking down a water leak that ends up in the 3rd row cup holder. Its been raining non stop here for the last 3 weeks. And I seem to be having a rough idle on cold start. I will need to gt a scope in there to see,
 
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613GT500

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The Pilot is just a bit to "Vanilla" for us. The tech in the Ex is a huge selling point for me. I love the new sync as well. I do think they have the best set up dash/display out there (maybe audi might be a tad cooler). Functionally, I cant see anywhere for major improvements. The dual pads work well and I can access the options easily,

I will add, Im tracking down a water leak that ends up in the 3rd row cup holder. Its been raining non stop here for the last 3 weeks. And I seem to be having a rough idle on cold start. I will need to gt a scope in there to see,
Skip the self diagnosis and get your EX into a dealership.
Make use of the 3yr bumper to bumper...LOL
 




pacman9270

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I have owned my '16 Ex Sport since December 2016. The extra engine muscle in the Sport and Platinum Ex editions are much better than the I4 in the other Ex editions.

I love the body style of the Ex over the other SUVs. Finishes are a step down but the styling is awesome.
 




PlatinumOwner

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I've had my 2016 Explorer Platinum since March 2016(Custom ordered with 2nd row bucket seats) and I'm still very happy with the vehicle after driving around 12,000mi. A couple very minor things were fixed by the dealer when it was new (such as door alignment) and I swapped in a SYNC 3 system myself. The EcoBoost engine is great and the massaging seats are nice on long drives. The stock tires are little soft so they will wear quick but provide great grip and braking. I had no trouble driving through about a 1-2 feet of unplowed snow this past winter.
 




machine4321

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Skip the self diagnosis and get your EX into a dealership.
Make use of the 3yr bumper to bumper...LOL
I know I know, Im working on my issues. Ive never paid a mechainc . I have always done my own repairs, rebuilds ext so I do have trust issues. Replacing heads poses many possible screw ups. Im chatting with a guy that had his fox body ground up restored/supercharged and I think one of the dealer techs did all the work. I will request him. There is to many techs that have just enough training to be a tech but really arent "into" their jobs enough to care about proper diagnosing or the challenge to figure stuff out. I guess I Want a tech like I would be if I was one. Ive known some incredibly smart techs, they usually leave and start their own shop where they can play with projects instead of the dealer grind.

I wish ford would find a cleaning solution. I would feel better leaving the engine closed up.
 




CraigK

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I have a '15 XLT. It is a nice Ford Taurus wagon, but to me it is no Explorer. After owning a 1991 Explorer, 1997 Mountaineer, & 2005 Explorer, I have been disappointed in my 2015. Build quality, by todays standards, is marginal at best. Right front door, fender and hood alignment is terrible and dealer tells me there is nothing they can do about it (not enough adjustment available to make it any better). The exhaust odor is terrible & unfixable and Ford doesn't seem to care. I recently read about Texas police depts. currently having lawsuits against Ford for CO2 poisoning in the Explorers. Front end hum (remains same after tire rotation) when driving in town. It's been there since new. I have 9 months left on the lease and I am counting down to replacement. I have driven Fords (cars and trucks), Mercs, and Lincolns exclusively since 1970 and am thinking about looking elsewhere for my next vehicle. Good comment: when driving to and from Florida, the cruise on I95 is like sitting in my living room recliner. I have been afraid to take it off road, I just don't have confidence in it's ability or durability for off road use. Now if Ford could just get quality of build up and CARE about the exhaust odor problem. MPG has been 17mpg city, 20mpg everyday driving and 23mpg on long trips. Note: I have tried to be loyal to Ford, just bought wife a new Escape and she loves it. But my getting another Explorer is not going to happen. Maybe the upcoming Bronco is what I am looking for. I must take some of the blame for not doing more research before getting the 2015 Explorer. I believe if I had, I wouldn't have gotten it. Just my two cents worth.
 




J_C

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meh, I am content, but Craig, you need to look into paragraphs.
 
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CraigK

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JC - Sorry for the ramble. I guess I am just a rambling old man.

In a nutshell. I will NOT be buying another Taurus wagon (aka Explorer). Nor would I recommend anyone buy one without doing your homework.

Please make sure you are getting what you need or want, not something Ford has advertised as being something it is not.

Craig
 


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613GT500

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I know I know, Im working on my issues. Ive never paid a mechainc . I have always done my own repairs, rebuilds ext so I do have trust issues. Replacing heads poses many possible screw ups. Im chatting with a guy that had his fox body ground up restored/supercharged and I think one of the dealer techs did all the work. I will request him. There is to many techs that have just enough training to be a tech but really arent "into" their jobs enough to care about proper diagnosing or the challenge to figure stuff out. I guess I Want a tech like I would be if I was one. Ive known some incredibly smart techs, they usually leave and start their own shop where they can play with projects instead of the dealer grind.

I wish ford would find a cleaning solution. I would feel better leaving the engine closed up.
Same here brother, as I trust no one either; other than an independant mech that I have been going to for over a decade.
I have decided to continue performing my own oil changes again, despite the very good rate of CAD $70.00 for synthetic oil and filter at the dealership; due to incriminating evidence I captured on my dashcam of them charging me for services that were never performed.
 




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