Transfer Case Problems of Ford Explorer - part 1

Ford Explorer owners have reported 79 problems related to transfer case (under the power train category). The most recently reported issues are listed below. Also please check out the statistics and reliability analysis of Ford Explorer based on all problems reported for the Explorer.

car image   Transfer Case problem of the 2014 Ford Explorer 1
Failure Date: 01/28/2018

Sudden onset of grinding noise. Upon examination and confirmation of engine oil, coolant and transmission fluid levels, determined that transfer case/ptu was failing. Caused loud clanking and grinding noises while in forward gears which was worsened when turning. Gearbox locked up while in turn and stopped vehicle in roadway while crossing opposite traffic lane. No signs of fluid leaks from transfer case or transmission.

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car image   Transfer Case problem of the 2014 Ford Explorer 2
Failure Date: 10/20/2017

Transfer case is gumming up and tearing up my pto and causing grinding while accelerating. Spoke to my mechanic and he said that Ford is aware of the problem but has yet to issue a recall or extended warranty on issue. Will cost $1600 to replace pto.

car image   Transfer Case problem of the 2014 Ford Explorer 3
Failure Date: 10/02/2017

My car has 64000 miles on it and was purchased in January 2014. The transfer case has failed and caused massive amounts of fluid to leak from the vehicle. The fluid could be seen on my driveway and my carport floor, and it was an $1850 fix at the mechanic. There was, according to the dealer, a recall for a similar issue with certified pre-owned Ford Explorers, and they said the transfer case was cracked, along with the valve. Additionally, there is an odor of propane or similar coming from the exhaust vents inside the vehicle. It's worse when it's on air conditioning, to the point where I actually have to put the windows down.

car image   Transfer Case problem of the 2011 Ford Explorer 4
Failure Date: 01/18/2017

My 2011 Ford Explorer had a faulty transfer case, which set me back $2000. 00. The issue I was experiencing was a grinding noise in my front end while driving. I would experience hesitation when increasing speeds, as if the transmission was slipping. While going in reverse, the car would stall and the gear would lock. I would have to put the car back in park and try to reverse again, in order to move. Mazda has the same issue with their transfer case, which is the same transfer case on the 2011 Ford Explorer!!!!!!! this car has major issue across the board. I just recently replaced the power steering rack, which was eventually recalled by Ford after numerous complaints. The 2011 Ford Explorer transfer case should be recalled by Ford. The transfer case can dismantle and cause a major accident while your are driving!!.

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car image   Transfer Case problem of the 2011 Ford Explorer 5
Failure Date: 07/06/2016

I have a 2011 Ford Explorer and I absolutely hate it !!! ever since I purchased the vehicle , I have had many problems. I just had my power steering rack replaced , out of pocket, until Ford decided to recall it. Now, I had to replace the transfer case , which ironically went bad out of no where. The transfer case is a major issue with Ford vehicles and Ford refuses to recall it . I have had many many problems with.

car image   Transfer Case problem of the 2013 Ford Explorer 6
Failure Date: 03/20/2015

Exiting from parking lot and speed of about 15 mph on a straight road, no pot holes, at about 100 ft from the parking exit, it hit an electric post. Left front suspension, fender, wheels,pillars, rocker & floor, radiator support, front lamps, hood,steering rock, cradle, transmission transfer case, front door and manny more damage. All are in left side. I checked the VIN but it is not on recall for power steering problem however I suspect power steering was the caused of accident. It is a major damaged and the insurance is not yet decided if repair or total wreck. I asked the Ford dealership to see on the diagnostic computer of the vehicle but up to now they have not yet check.

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car image   Transfer Case problem of the 2006 Ford Explorer 7
Failure Date: 03/19/2015

Transmission failure resulting from michelin incorrectly marking tire sizes: I had four michelin cross terrain p235/70r16 tires on my SUV. Two wore out and where replaced with michelin latitude p235/70r16 tires as the cross terrain model was discontinued. The SUV then started having transmission problems especially when accelerating and the transmission failed and had to be replaced. The new transmission immediately started having similar transmission problems also. After multiple specialists examined the SUV, the problem was isolated to the 4x4 module engaging the transfer case during acceleration. It was determined by measuring the tires that the vehicle in fact had sets of tires with different circumferences, even though the tires were marked as being the same size. When the circumferences of the tires are not the same it causes the 4x4 module to believe a slipping condition is present and engage the transfer case. The continual engagement of the transfer case results in damage to the transmissin. I contacted michelin consumer care four times over a two month period only to be totally ignored. Michelin has sold tires that are marked incorrectly as to size, which results in damage to your SUV, and they refuse to accept any liability.

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car image   Transfer Case problem of the 2003 Ford Explorer 8
Failure Date: 07/27/2014

I have had three incidents with my 2003 Ford Explorer. The first incident involved the suspension ( sway bars snapped, tires had to be repaired). Second incident was the transfer case and a wiggling drive shaft along with rear wheel bearings ( parts deemed defective by mechanics) , and emergency brakes that snapped off in my mechanics hands because they were rusty. Now it is transmission work for a possible faulty sensor. Ford needs to recalls before someone is killed due to catasrophic equipment failure! ive called them every time and they are aware of the issues but refuse to do anything other then document them and say have a nice day!.

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car image   Transfer Case problem of the 2007 Ford Explorer 9
Failure Date: 03/25/2014

In 9/2013 the vehicle was taken to the dealership for a metallic sound that occurred while it was turning or coasting. Diagnosis was that the 4x4 module was commanding the transfer case to engage when not commanded. The dealership received an improperly recommended module from Ford. They ended up using a sport trac module. This stopped the noise but caused the traction light to come on. We were advised to replace the anti-lock brake module. In 2/2014 we replaced the anti-lock brake module. On 3/25/2014 the transmission lost reverse and first gear and needs to be replaced. Ford will not admit the wrong part was used and caused the transmission to go.

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car image   Transfer Case problem of the 1997 Ford Explorer 10
Failure Date: 07/11/2013

This letter is intended to address ineffective service by aamco that led to failure of a transmission in my vehicle. As you see by the attached letter, I voiced concern about this last year and all aamco suggested was to take it back to the dealer that performed the ineffective service. I requested the right to take the vehicle to another aamco center, but your response was to take it to the center that I already had doubts about. Let me set the scenario again. ?with initial grinding sounds and lack of reverse, I took to clinton transmissions in 2011 and they informed me the transmission needed to be rebuilt. The vehicle was parked until 2012. ?in 2012, I called the waldorf aamco center and they informed me it may not be the transmission and to let them look at it. It was towed in and I was informed that the transmission was fine but the transfer case was bad. ?all totaled, I paid $1534. 76 for transfer case, $430. 03 for parts, and $600 for labor. This does not include the other services that the center said I needed. ?the vehicle was taken back twice for an od light that came on as soon as I left the center. They seemed unable to diagnose the problem. ?I felt concern for the period I was driving and wrote corporate to request assistance. ?earlier this year while driving to south carolina, the grinding sound started again and reverse went out. I notified corporate and the waldorf center and was told to go to the nearest aamco. ?I went to the columbia, south carolina aamco and after diagnostic, told me the same thing that the clinton transmission told me in 2011. The transmission had internal damage and needed to be rebuilt. ?I left the vehicle in columbia and had to purchase a new vehicle. With these facts in mind, aamco can surely see where ineffective service led to a safety failure.

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car image   Transfer Case problem of the 2004 Ford Explorer 11
Failure Date: 07/27/2012

Driving, and and light came on, 4x4 light blinking 5times every 2/3 miles. Went to reverse and got a hard jerk. Car started making a rubbing noise. Took ithe shop was told it was either the transmission or the transfer case.

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car image   Transfer Case problem of the 2002 Ford Explorer 12
Failure Date: 04/05/2012

Transmission failure - stupid design doesn't allow you to check fluid level, leak at transfer case seal seems to have caused loss of fluid and cannot be added without some special pump to fill transmission back up because it's a sealed unit. Designed so only Ford dealers can do service and then it just goes out and you're driving 65 mph down the mountain and unable to control speed. Ford needs to recall these piece of crap transmissions yet won't even acknowledge there's a problem although every dealer & tranny mechanic knows of the issues.

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car image   Transfer Case problem of the 2003 Ford Explorer 13
Failure Date: 07/07/2011

Suddenly the transfer case started jerking and the SUV was shaking badly that I almost couldn't drive it home. I was lucky to have this happening at 1/2 mile from my house and at about 20-25 miles per hour! it was no code to indicate where the failure occured within the power train. I tooke a part the rear end, I found nothing wrong with it. I started to troubleshoot the transfer case and I noticed that the electrical motor with actuator does not spin the shaft from tranfer case, reason that the transfer case can't select firmly the position of hi, low por 4wd!!!!. Observing that trhe motor of the transfer case sifter does not spin, I purchesd a new motor from Ford,. After replacemnt, the problem persisted; so, I replaced the transfer case module, behaind the glove box; no result. To be able to move the car around I unplugged the transfer case motor shift frokm the main harness and the SUV stays now in 4wd with blinking lights on my dash for abs and 4x4 wd!!! I am still wandering what could happend to me if the jumping and grinding was to happend when I was driving the car with 65-70 miles per hour and the power train could snap and the drivesfat could fly out. . . Who shall be resonsible for my life or somebody else's that I could hit? I consider that the manufacturer shall recall the Explorer's affected and address the transfer case issues. The old parts that I have replaced are available, they are functgional. I still don't know what is wrong becasue I couldn't find any advise from any Ford sites\, neither from a qualified diagnostic specialist. If I go to Ford dealership they will be charging tons of $$$ until the car runs again; they don't care how many parts will replace and I will have to pay Ford's mistakes from my pocket; this is not right!.

car image   Transfer Case problem of the 1997 Ford Explorer 14
Failure Date: 02/24/2011

We maintained our vehicles regularly, after replacing the transfer case not 8 months ago now the transmission went out. Spent $2400 for a rebuild. Shop states this model is a piece of *, and the have made a lot of money from Fords poor engineering on this model.

car image   Transfer Case problem of the 1997 Ford Explorer 15
Failure Date: 10/07/2010

After turning a corner at less than 15 mph a loud sound was heard and the engine raced but stopped moving. Tried all gears and after having it towed to a repair facility I was informed that the transfer case broke. I had to have it replaced.

car image   Transfer Case problem of the 2002 Ford Explorer 16
Failure Date: 11/07/2009

2002 Ford Explorer XLT 4 wheel drive does not actuate anymore. Mechanic says it is a defective 4x4 control module. Seems to be a common problem with Ford. Safety issue when expecting traction in winter and not having it.

car image   Transfer Case problem of the 2002 Ford Explorer 17
Failure Date: 04/18/2009

2002 Explorer, 1st incident, had od light flashing w/very hard shift. Had transmission rebuilt. About 6 months later, slipping at 30 to 40 miles per hour, had transfer case rebuilt. 6 weeks later transmission slipping again at 30 to 40 mph with loud whine when stopping.

car image   Transfer Case problem of the 2002 Ford Explorer 18
Failure Date: 03/13/2009

I have an issue with my transmission in my 2002 Ford Explorer. The car has 76,000 miles and the o/d light flashes and 2nd gear is a mess. It started out of no where. . Read more...

car image   Transfer Case problem of the 2002 Ford Explorer 19
Failure Date: 01/05/2009

2002 Ford Explorer transmission flew into 4x4 low automatic while driving at 50 mph. The 4x4 module part had been replaced once already,and is the culprit of throwing it into an unsafe position. The issue keeps coming up, and the dealer has had no responsibility for replacing the "known Ford problem" in over 7 years. This issue is expensive to repair, but the problem is the safety of the vehicle and the passengers at higher speeds. It can cause the vehicle to first slow down by the physical limitations of the transfer case, and cause the vehicle to be out of control and flip. It's so present on the internet now, I wonder why no one has gotten Ford to face the issue, even the dealers know, but get no response back from parent Ford. The vehicle mentioned is well cared for, as well as only in the low 80,000 mile area presently. This happened around 38,000, 43,000, 58,000, 63,000, and now at 84,000. Even the dealer agrees that the 4 wheel auto feature, (which is the idle state of the transaxle) cannot be started when the vehicle is fired up. This causes numerous issues with other components reliable to the module. The module, is built by motorola and I've been advised that the any new owner of an Explorer in the date range should have it replaced or inspected due to it not being able to handle typical surge spikes from the vehicles power systems. The replacements should have it. But that doesn't help with the advise if it already occurs. Which it has been. Now I've got a $45,000 paperweight in my driveway again. Corrections are made, but results are always the same. Ford needs to address the issue publicly before others are in accidents or fatalities occur.

car image   Transfer Case problem of the 1996 Ford Explorer 20
Failure Date: 10/01/2008

4x4 fails to activate leaving vehicle impaired in 2 wheel mode during critical driving times. Switch on dash goes out, appears to be failure of 4x4 control module and transfer motor. Problem occurs after battery has been disconnected. Repair for vehicle requires changing out control module or transfer case motor. Problem appears to occur in all models of Ford Explorer 1991 - to date.

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car image   Transfer Case problem of the 2002 Ford Explorer 21
Failure Date: 07/23/2008

While driving my 02 Ford Explorer XLT I noticed the o/d light would come on and it would be hard to shift. The was a rattling noise coming from transfer case which had a brownish fluid leaking from it. Went to dealer and was told the transmission had to be replaced.

car image   Transfer Case problem of the 2002 Ford Explorer 22
Failure Date: 04/05/2008

I bought my Explorer used with 67000 miles on it I had it checked out by a mechanic before I bought it but he didn't do a very thorough job. After about 3 weeks I had a hard time putting into reverse but then slammed into gear and I did not happen again for awhile this lasted on and off for a year and half when one day it wouldn't go into reverse at all and no other gears either I had it repaired and they said it was the transfer case then my 4 wheel drive light flashed and stopped working that was something electrical , 1st , 2nd and reverse gears started slipping I had those repaired now my overdrive light flashes on and off and I have been told it is definitely my transmission and probably always has been. I know someone else having this problem with their 02 Ford and speaking to the mechanics they were not surprised at all and it seems as though lots of 02 Ford Explorer owners on line are having the same or similar problems. How many vehicles does it take to turn into a recall???.

car image   Transfer Case problem of the 2006 Ford Explorer 23
Failure Date: 03/05/2008

I bought a 2006 Ford XLT Explorer with apx. 17,000 miles. I had it for about 3 months it had about 19,000 miles. I drive it about 100 miles to a convention and by the time I got there and pulled into a parking lot the vehicle started shifting hard, jerking and lunging. It was making a loud banging sound and felt like the transmission was going to fall out. I took it to Ford, they did some work on the transfer case and replaced a module. About a month and a thousand miles later, it started doing it again. Took it back to Ford and they did some more work. The shifter lever was replaced. Later it started doing it again. I have taken it back several times and the vehicle continues to have the problem. It doesn't do it every day but does do it several times a week, some days are worse than others. As time goes by it seems to get worse and happen more often. Sometime when I put the vehicle in reverse there is a delay to engage and one morning it cause me to back into another vehicle. It also has a cracked running board.

car image   Transfer Case problem of the 2003 Ford Explorer 24
Failure Date: 01/30/2008

The transfer case failed on our 2003 Ford Explorer. This is a known problem at Ford and due to a design flaw with the Explorer. It cost $2,000 to fix. Our mechanic referred us to a transmission/transfer case specialist who had seen multiple Explorers with this problem. Ford should issue a recall for this known defect. The consequences of a failure in the transfer case can be a complete shredding of the gears and sudden loss of power, which could be extremely dangerous.

car image   Transfer Case problem of the 2002 Ford Explorer 25
Failure Date: 06/01/2007

I have an 2002 Ford Explorer and it only has 81,000 miles and I have had problems with the transmission since it hit 77,000 miles. It has been in shop, a transmission specialist, at least 10 times for the same problem. I have had the entire transmission overhauled and the same parts keep wearing down. This is causing the tranny to slip and slam into gear. I am now taking it back into the shop after 6 months. Ford needs to do something to help the american people if they still want us to buy american.

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