The Most Common 2019 Ford Explorer Problems

The 2019 Ford Explorer ranks near the bottom of the midsize SUV class when it comes to safety and reliability ratings. Click here to learn more.
Written by Jessica Gibson
Reviewed by Jessa Claeys
The most common problems with the 2019 Ford Explorer involve engine and electrical systems. This midsize SUV was also recalled twice, even though it earned a five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). 
The Explorer is one of
most iconic vehicles. After all, it was one of the first to be labeled an SUV! The 2019 model boasts an impressively designed exterior and a more powerful engine, which is great for hauling things or transporting up to seven passengers.
Although the Explorer has been a mainstay of the Ford lineup, it’s no stranger to a variety of complaints. In this guide, we’ve done the research for you, so you can make an informed purchase or keep an eye out for common problems.
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The most common 2019 Ford Explorer problems

You might have seen reviewers mention that this SUV has below-average safety ratings. Unfortunately, the Ford Explorer frequently underperforms when it comes to safety and reliability ratings—and the 2019 model is no exception.
Let’s talk about the recalls first. You can check for recalls using your VIN by heading to the
NHTSA’s website
The Explorer was recalled because the roof rail covers might detach and come off, which creates a road hazard and increases the risk of a crash. If your model is affected, take it to a Ford dealership, where they’ll install push-pins and replace any damaged rail clips or roof rail covers.
The next recall affected a wide range of the Ford lineup. Seats were improperly assembled, reducing the seat back strength. This may not sound like a big deal, but the seats might not restrain a passenger in a crash, increasing their risk of injury. Get your Explorer inspected, and Ford will replace the seats if necessary.
While those are the only two recalls, there are almost 60 complaints listed with the NHTSA. Most comments dealt with engine problems and electrical systems—typically expensive repairs. 
Engine problems include rebuilding or replacing the engine or parts like the head gasket, timing chain, or cylinder head. Minor engine problems typically involve the engine computer, engine knocking, and oil leaks. 
As for electrical system issues, the problems are widespread. Drivers complained about the alternator, electronic ignition, rotor failure, and battery. The power equipment is affected, too. Cruise control, lighting, keyless entry, the tire pressure monitoring system, and the alarm/security system may act up.
Kelley Blue Book estimates that the 2019 Explorer is at medium risk of major repairs in a given year. Although RepairPal doesn’t have an annual repair cost estimate, they calculated that Ford owners spend an average of $650—considerably higher than most makes.

Is the 2019 Ford Explorer reliable?

With these common problems in mind, it’s not surprising that the 2019 Ford Explorer sits near the bottom for reliability. Although the NHTSA gives it a five-star rating for its crash test performance, Consumer Reports ranks it #4 out of 8 for reliable SUVs. The publication goes on to say that owner satisfaction with this model year is a dismal 2 out of 5.
Other reviewers provide somewhat average scores—J.D. Power gives the 2019 Explorer 78/100, and U.S. News rates it 7.3 out of 10. While these aren’t the worst possible scores, they do suggest that you’ve got more reliable options in the midsize SUV class. At least that’s what Car and Driver implied when it gave the Explorer a 6 out of 10 rating.
The Explorer is a well-known option if you’re loyal to the Ford brand and want a midsize SUV. Just stick to the manufacturer’s
recommended maintenance schedule
, and don’t hesitate to get your SUV checked out at the dealership. 
However, if quality and safety are important to you, look into the
Chevy Blazer
Honda Passport
, both of which get 86/100 from J.D. Power.
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