Legally reviewed by: Jessica Anvar Stotz, JD, MBA

2018 ford explorer problems

As important as being knowledgeable about the features of a car is being aware of the problems a certain vehicle commonly faces.

Most vehicle models have some problems with certain defects popping up across hundreds or even thousands of vehicles out on the road, and knowing what they are for your vehicle can help you recognize problems before they become too dangerous or costly to address.

In this article, we will go over some of the common problems that 2018 Ford Explorers face based on reports and complaints written by buyers.

Common 2018 Ford Explorer Problems

  • Structure Problems: Exterior A-pillar detaches, trim clips failing, roof rail cover detaches, back seat strength weakened by improper manufacturing
  • Transmission Issues: Shaking while idling, hesitation on accelerating, erratic gear shifting, unintentional rolling
  • In-Car Electronics: Infotainment system screen off, detaching keypads, faulty digital gauge readings, liftgate fails to open
  • Engine Problems: Engine failure, coolant leaking, stalling, rattling, overheating

2018 Ford Explorer Transmission Issues

A vehicle’s transmission is responsible for allowing the driver to shift gears and controls the amount of power that moves from the engine to the wheels of the vehicle.

Transmission problems are therefore some of the more dangerous or impactful problems to have, as they can impact the ability of the driver to control their vehicle.

In the 2018 Ford Explorer, transmission problems have been reported by consumers as causing the vehicle to shake while idle, hesitate or outright refuse to accelerate, shift gears erratically, and unintentionally roll.

Any of these defects could result in significant stress or danger to the driver and should be taken seriously if discovered. A consumer who suspects their 2018 Ford Explorer has a transmission issue should take it to be repaired as soon as possible.

2018 Ford Explorer Structure Issues

The 2018 Ford Explorer’s most glaring issue, according to volume of complaints, is its structural integrity, specifically its exterior A-pillars and roof rail cover.

The exterior A pillars are those at the front of the vehicle and surround the front windshield. In a significant amount of 2018 Ford Explorer vehicles, the trim clips on this part are insufficient to keep it held in place.

Additionally, the roof rail cover suffers from faulty retention pins that can result in the part disconnecting. Ford has issued recalls for both of these issues: the A-pillar recall was issued in January of 2024 and the roof rail cover recall was issued in May of 2021.

The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration Recall IDs for these issues are 24V031000 and 21V316000, for the A-pillars and roof rail cover respectively.

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    2018 Ford Explorer Owner Complaints

    • National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration Complaint

    “Lost A pillar trim yesterday on a drive. I was advised that the recall was still in advanced notice. I am not paying to repair my vehicle while they figure their stuff out. I will be driving around without an A pillar now!”

    • Complaint

    “Bought brand new, now at 8,000 miles noises coming from front end that our Ford Dealer nor Ford Engineers can remedy a fix. Their first attempt, replaced struts- Noise still there. Second attempt, replaced entire Axel- Noise still there, Now on 10-23-29 replacing Motor Mounts.”

    • National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration Complaint

    “The car had catastrophic engine failure. It had zero mechanical issues and all routine maintenance. It started rough a few times. Which I now know was a misfire. It then overheated while driving. Brought to a mechanic who said it was a blown head gasket. The coolant leaked into the oil. Engine had to be replaced at 102,000 miles.”

    How the Lemon Law Can Resolve Your 2018 Ford Explorer Issues

    lemon law claims in california

    If your 2018 Ford Explorer has had repeat warranty repairs for the same or similar issue, the California Lemon Law may be able to help you be compensated.

    The California Lemon Law is an avenue for consumers to bring claims against auto manufacturers who sell or lease them defective vehicles. Available remedies are a replacement vehicle of similar make and model, or a refund on all money paid towards the defective vehicle minus a usage fee.

    The lemon law process starts with a consumer experiencing a defect and presenting the vehicle to an authorized manufacturer dealer to be repaired. If this repair is successful, the process ends here, and the consumer takes their functioning vehicle back.

    If the repair is not successful, the consumer needs to continue to attempt to repair the vehicle with authorized manufacturer dealerships. Each of these repair attempts should be documented, as they form the basis for the lemon law claim.

    After a reasonable number of repair attempts (usually two to four), the consumer should consider presenting a lemon law claim. The manufacturer will likely try to repair it again, but if the vehicle is a lemon, the manufacturer needs to offer a refund or replacement. At this point in the process, the consumer should hire a lemon law attorney for the smoothest possible progression of their claim.

    While consumers can bring lemon law claims on their own, there are distinct advantages to having a knowledgeable attorney by your side when bringing a claim. Such attorneys can organize your documentation, communicate and negotiate with the manufacturer, and eventually bring your case to court if need be.

    A consumer who wins their lemon law claim has their reasonable attorney’s fees paid for under California law by the auto manufacturer. This means that the legal representation for their claims comes at no cost to them. This does not come out of any other award and is purely to allow consumers to bring lemon law claims without worrying about legal expenses.

    Need Lemon Law Assistance? Call the Lemon Law Experts!

    Like any other legal process, bringing a lemon law claim against a manufacturer can be very stressful. When you are already dealing with a defective vehicle you likely spent a large amount on, the last thing you want is a more complicated legal route to compensation. That’s why you should hire a lemon law attorney from the Lemon Law Experts!

    Our legal team will work diligently to ensure you are represented to the best of our ability and receive the compensation that you deserve. We have been taking on lemon law cases since 2009 and are extremely knowledgeable about the nuances of this law. Contact us today by calling (877) 885-5366 or by filling out our online form by clicking here!