2011 Explorer Loss of Steering-Rack Problem-Beware - Ford Explorer Forum - Forums for Ford Explorer Enthusiasts
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Old 03-25-2018, 07:17 PM   #1
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2011 Explorer Loss of Steering-Rack Problem-Beware

I have been wanting to share my story. In 2015 I purchased a 2011 Explorer with 46,000 miles on it. The steering locked up on it when my wife was driving it. Luckily she was on a back street. It took both hands with all her strength to get it to the curb. I researched and found 2 recalls from 2014 that state loss of steering warrants a new rack under warranty. They are recalls 14E001000 dated 1/6/14 & 14V286000 dated 5/29/14. I did a ton of research on this and found many others that had the same problem. They all said it never through a code. I had also received a superceeding recall 14S06/NHTSA Recal 14V-286 dated July 2015. They changed the wording on this recall to say there are conditions that warrant replacement of the rack. (they removed the loss of steering verbage). Thanks Ford lawyers. This is a very dirty deal done by Ford. My local Ford dealer would not replace the rack because they were looking for a code. They wanted $1700 for a new rack. Ford Corporate Customer Service approved the repair but the local dealer still would not replace it. The manager, said if I had bought it at their dealership then they would have replaced it. Thats what they do for good customers. I was flabbergasted by this. I bought 2 late model cars and 2 brand new Ford F150 trucks from them. I was loyal to them. I bought this Explorer at a different dealer because I was looking for tow package and color. About this time that carbon monoxide issue was hitting the news. I made a very unusual decision for me especially being a Ford guy for 35 years. I traded it for a Honda Pilot. Best decision I could have made. Love the Pilot. 27 MPG. Ford lost a loyal customer. I still cant believe it happened. My wife hauls our grandkids and I could not take a chance of her driving a vehicle around where the kids could get gassed and she could loose total loss of steering.

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Old 03-26-2018, 02:13 PM   #2
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All vehicles have issues, unfortunately. Ford is known for the electric steering issues, and valve carbon buildup on the Explorers with the Ecoboost engines. The CO issue seems confined to modified 3.7L Ecoboosts used for LEO vehicles.

Hondas tend to have weak transmissions and in current model years, just wait as new designs bring new problems for any manufacturer.

If you are happy with the Pilot that's great, but you can get a replacement steering rack from Rock Auto for around $700, plus shop labor or DIY install. Oddly on Rock Auto under "Rack and Pinion" all the parts listed are out of stock (well not odd if they're failing faster than being made, lol) but there are parts available listed under "Power Steering Pump".

If you'd rather have the Pilot then it can still make sense to DIY replace the rack as it's bound to have higher trade-in or resale value fully working again rather than being pulled around by a tow truck and needing that repair which dealerships are charging so much for.
Please post your vehicle year/model/engine/(n)WD in help topics.

'98 Explorer XLT 4L SOHC 4WD
'14 Explorer XLT 3.5L NA AWD
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