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2015 Ford Explorer Problems – This Model Year Has THREE Recalls! 

2015 Ford Explorer Problems – This Model Year Has THREE Recalls! 

The Ford Explorer is a range of SUVs manufactured by Ford Motor Company from the 1991 model year until the present. Being the first four-door SUV produced by Ford, this car had been popular since its inception 20 years ago. Despite the popularity on the market, the 2015 Ford Explorer problems have deterred some users from purchasing this model year. 

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE


Let’s check out an overview of the 2015 Explorer, the reliability of this car, recalls of the Explorer, and various problems within each car category to see if this vehicle is smart or safe for you to purchase! 

2015 Ford Explorer Overview

The 2015 Ford Explorer has earned the following ratings in various car categories across the board:

  • #17 in 2015 Affordable Midsize SUVs
  • #20 in 2015 Affordable SUVs with 3 Rows
  • #32 in 2015 Affordable Crossover SUVs
  • #48 in Used SUVs with 3 Rows $15K to $20K
  • #86 in Used Crossover SUVs $15K to $20K
  • #174 in Used Midsize SUVs under $20K


As you can see, the 2015 Ford Explorer problems have harmed the ranking in certain categories when compared to other similar vehicles on the market.


However, the Ford Explorer still has various positives that continue to make this car a popular choice on the market. The positives of the 2015 Explorer include:

  • A smooth and agile ride
  • Powerful V6 engine options in various trim levels.
  • Favorable cost of ownership

Despite the positives of this model year, the 2015 Ford Explorer problems harm this car’s ranking. The negatives of this Explorer include:

  • No major updates for this model year
  • Cramped rear seats and cargo area
  • Finicky and slow touch screen
  • Poor low-speed maneuverability

Ford Explorer Reliability

The ranking of the Explorer from the Car US News Scorecard comes to 7.2 out of 10, with the critics' rating to 7.9, the performance of 7.4, the interior coming to 7.9, the total cost of ownership being 8.7, and the safety rating coming to 9.2 out of 10. Unfortunately, the JD Power reliability score only comes to 2 out of 5. 

2015 Ford Explorer Recalls

As of 2020, the 2015 model year has three recalls due to the severe 2015 Ford Explorer problems. 

    • One recall deals with a while that may detach while driving due to a faulty hub-unit bearing. 
      • Replacing the hub bearings in your wheels can cost between $400 and $8– on both sides of the axle, with the cost of the parts varying depending on how advanced the assembly of your Ford Explorer is. 
  • The second recall focuses on a rear-suspension toe link that may not be properly welded together. 
      • The cost of replacing your suspension is between $1,000 and $5,000, not including the labor cost associated with taking your car to a Ford mechanic.
  • The final recall deals with the parking brake that may not fully engage to keep the car in place while in the ‘Park’ position.
    • Replacing the emergency brake in your car can range from $10 to $600, with the price ranging depending on the labor cost and the other 2015 Ford Explorer problems. 

2015 Ford Explorer Problems – Steering

The steering system in each car made in modern factories is mainly a rack and pinion steering system. This system is composed of various components containing universal joints, main shafts, intermediate shafts, and the steering rack.


This central unit is in charge of the steering direction and the signals from the driver. Without this steering box, the steering wheel would not move. The steering system receives inputs, using the steering wheel and the steering column to send a mechanical signal to the steering shafts to complete smooth, responsive, safe, and efficient turns in both directions. 

Power Steering Stopped Working

  • If the power steering stops working completely in your car, this is typically due to a faulty steering column that has caused the 2015 Ford Explorer problems.
  • The steering column is the main housing compartment that holds the steering wheel and the shaft in a secure and connected place. The steering coupler is located at the bottom of the shaft, allowing the steering wheel to rotate without getting bound up within the column. 

Popping Noise While Turning

  • If you notice a popping noise while turning, this could be due to a faulty steering rack. 
  • The steering rack is the main focus of the steering system, showing the importance of a steering box in controlling your car. When the box wears out over time, shows damage, or completely breaks over a long time of use, the steering can be compromised and not work properly. If this occurs while driving, it could cause some of the most severe 2015 Ford Explorer.
    • The average cost to repair a leak on a steering rack and pinion assembly will usually run between $500 and $1000, which is much more expensive than other parts of the power steering system. However, paying for this repair cost can help you save a power steering leak from getting worse in your vehicle. 

Steering Pulls to One Side 

  • When drivers notice the steering pull to one side, this could be due to a power steering pressure hose failure. When the power hose fails, it can cause some of the most common 2015 Ford Explorer problems.
  • The hydraulic power steering pressure system needs at least two power steering hoses, with one high-power steering pressure hose and one low-power steering pressure hose. These hoses each deliver fluid to and from the power steering pump and the proper gears, allowing the steering wheel to turn with ease and provide greater control when handling. 
    • The average cost for a power steering hose replacement is between $427 and $459, with the labor costs coming between $110 and $140, and the parts cost ranging between $317 and $319. If you notice a power steering leak, chances are you will have to pay for the power steering hose replacement price at your local mechanic. 

2015 Ford Explorer Problems – Exhaust System

Exhaust Smell

    • If you notice the exhaust smell is inside the vehicle's cabin, a leak in the fuel system is almost always the cause of the odor. A leak can occur anywhere in the exhaust system, causing the smell in the car.
  • Fixing a leaking fuel line is a simple task for most mechanics or professionals, costing between $60 and $120.

2015 Ford Explorer Problems – Interior Accessories

Door Panel Came Loose

  • Another common car body repair cost to consider when purchasing a new or used vehicle is door dents and dings, causing a loose door panel that can occur from foreign objects, crashes, or accidents. Paintless dent repair has become a hit in recent years, significantly lowering the total repair costs and prices associated with replacements of your car.
    • If you find the back of the body panel accessed in your vehicle, paintless dent repair can typically fix the issue at a very low car body repair cost. Drivers and car owners can expect to pay between $50 and $150 for most-sized dents and dings on their car. 

Rattling Noise in Dash

    • The rattling noise in the dashboard can occur due to various reasons, with the most common causes being loose trim parts behind the dashboard. The plastic and metal bits under the surface layer can cause vibrations and shaking in the dashboard.
  • The average cost for dashboard replacement is between $2,118 and $2,267, with the labor between $570 and $720, and the parts priced around $1,548. 

2015 Ford Explorer Problems – Body and Paint

Paint Flaking on Hood

    • Almost every car has undergone a paint chip or scratch in its lifetime. Depending on where you live, this might be more frequent than others. If you live in the city, chances are your car has been scratched or dented numerous times. 
    • Certain paints, like pearl paints or those with luxury finishes, will require more labor work and more billed hours when repainting the exterior of your car. In this case, you can expect the car body repair cost to be much higher than vehicles with normal paint.
    • Depending on the scratches’ depth, severity, and location, repairing scratches could range from a quick DIY job to a complete refinishing. If there are dents and creases, this adds time and effort to fix the 2015 Ford Explorer problems.  
  • Just using a touch-up pen or a small repainting job can cost as little as $50 to fix the 2015 Ford Explorer problems. 
    • However, professional refinishing may be needed depending on the length of the damage, the severity of the damage, the frequency of the scratches, and the type of paint used. In this case, you could spend up to $1,500.

Front Bumper Not Aligned

    • Instead of using metal bumpers like in the olden days with used and heavy cars, modern vehicles on the road today use plastic bumper covers to save money, improve aerodynamics and performance qualities, and increase pedestrian safety in the event of a crash.
    • Although the plastic bumper covers have many benefits, they also have some negatives – like being more delicate and exposed to the elements. 
    • Even a crash at just a few miles per hour or a foreign object that could hit the bumper can cause damage. 
  • When looking at the total car body repair cost for this fix, you are typically in the range of between $400 for a repair and refinish of hte paint and the dent, or around $1,500 to fix a bumper that needs replacing and repainting.

2015 Ford Explorer Problems – AC/Heater

Exhaust Smell in Cabin

    • An exhaust smell in the cabin is typically due to a leak in the fuel line, a failing catalytic converter, or an excessively-rich air-to-fuel ratio. 
  • Replacing the catalytic converter is typically between $945 and $2475 for most vehicles. 

2015 Ford Explorer Problems – Exterior accessories

Door Hinge or Handle Falls Off

  • The car door hinge is the mechanism in every vehicle that secures the door to the structural body of the car. Using screws, bolts, or a central hinge pin, the car door hinge connects the door with the car’s body to ensure the door and door panel does not come off while driving. 
  • The door handle is the handle used to open or close the car door to let you get in and out of the vehicle with ease. Door handles typically protrude from the exterior’s surface to make it easy to grab.
    • The car door handle repair averages between $40 and $100 for an OEM handle and between $50 and $95 for the professional labor, bringing the total price between $90 and $195 on average. 

Windshield Chips

The Bottom Line

The Ford Explorer is a range of SUVs manufactured by Ford Motor Company from the 1991 model year until the present. Being the first four-door SUV produced by Ford, this car had been popular since its inception 20 years ago. Despite the popularity on the market, the 2015 Ford Explorer problems have deterred some users from purchasing this model year. 


By knowing the worst problems in each category, you know what to look out for, the signs and symptoms of a problematic car, and how you can repair or replace these issues before they worsen over time!