Hey everyone, im coming over from the explorer side because im thinking about getting a brand new 2012 Ford Expedition EL King Ranch 4x4 with the 401a option group, air leveling rear suspension, and nav system options. Anyone out there have one and can share opinions? Anything i should be aware of? Any known issues? Thanks guys!
I purchased a 2011 Expedition EL Limited with Load Leveling, moonroof/retractable running boards and NAV along with the rear Headrest DVD system. So except for the coloring and the better leather it is just like what you are contemplating. I purchased my truck back in the end of June and put on nearly 1000 miles in the first two weeks so it would be broken in for towing. Since then I went on several family outings towing our 20'ft bowrider weighing about 3500 lbs. It towed well mainly because of the 6 speed transmission with the tow/haul mode.
My biggest gripe is the leather seats (which the King Ranch takes care of, I wished I like the color combo on the King Ranch). In my Limited they seem somewhat thin and the driver side cushion seems under stuffed and I am getting wrinkling and creases in the leather which eventually will crack. I haven't pursued this with the dealership but I think I should. So good thing you are looking at the KR.
I have not had many problems with my truck except that the factory remote start didn't work lilke a normal remote start and would stop the engine when the key was placed in the key receptacle requiring the truck to be restarted. Dealershiip couldn't/wouldn't reprogram to operate as most systems do. So I found instructions on how to do it and did it myself in less than 10min.
Also the Factory Ordered (apparently dealer installed) Headrest DVD's are not integrated with the Touch screen NAV so the sound if played though the truck speakers needs to be tuned into an FM band which is not very clear all the time.
I recently had the gas gauge fail on me. It was at about 1/2 tank when I parked it on my relatively steep driveway one night about a week ago. The next morning I drove the truck and it was telling me I had 25 miles left in the tank. I suspected somebody syphoned gas from me as my added trip computer said I should have 20 gal left. When I went to fill up sure enough it took 20.1 gal. So it was a sticking tank indicator that was fault. It broke free when filling it and I haven't retested on my driveway yet as I am waiting for the gauge to drop to about 20 gal again.
Other than that there have been complaints on these '07+ Expy's having shifting troubles. There is a lot of activity on this forum with people having all sorts of troubles (mostly software related I suspect). I haven't seen anybody with an '11 or '12 with this issue so I'm not sure it has been designed out or just not old enough.
Another common issue seems to deal with paint quality. Again there are several threads on this issue also. The paint does seem a bit on the thin side and I got the optional Tri-Color Metallic White at an additional $475 so you would think it would be better but it really doesn't seem so. I again have no issures but it is practically brand new. It may very possibly be a sign of the times with the types of paints used today or a cost savings thinning of the paint, but it is what it is.
If you will tow with your Expedition I would suggest an aftermarket gauge so you can keep an eye on the engine and transmission temperature. The engine temperature as the one in the truck seems to just heat up to a specific point and just stays there. Even if the digital readout shows it is heating up a bit, the analog instrument gauge doesn't move a bit. It is controlled by the computer I suspect. The truck doesn't have a transmission temp gauge so that is nice to have. I use the Scangauge II and recommend it.
As of now I have 4500 miles so I really don't daily drive it.
Also if you ever want to modify your truck with a lift, you may want to know that there are limited options with the '07+ style and none when you have the Load Leveling option as far as I know.
1) Paint. Check every square inch of paint before you buy anything or sign anything. I mean it. Ask Tylus and myself about this. The paint quality is in the tank. Bubbles, rust, etc.
2) Ditch the load leveling system. These will fail and require very expensive replacement bags. Not worth it IMO.
3) Vibrations. Test drive the snot out of it. Some have had vibrations that either come from tires or something yet to be detirmined. Drive it all the way up to 80, radio off, flat smooth road. Notice the steering wheel and any vibration. The 07-12 expeditions have a very sensitive steering system. Anything other than near perfect in tire balance will equate to harsh vibrations.
4) Tranny. Some have had issues that have been fixed, others not. Notice 2-1 shift. Does it bump, make noise? Does it slip? I know, this can happen with a brand new truck!
Those are the three major flaws I can think of. Paint. Tranny and vibrations.
I suspect good care and waxing will definitely work in your favor, keeping it garage kept will hel also. However, Tylus does seem to keep his Expy in good condition but is on assignment for extended periods but seems to keep the waxing up. He does live in a corrosive (salt air) environment (Hawaii) but shouldn't be the problem it is for him.
Some people have complained that the 2011 and I suspect the 2012 is not as responsive as the earlier versions, on one forum one person was going to have theirs tuned professionally, I haven't gotten a status on that. I haven't noticed. A tune can improve the performance but for me I more or less drive like a grandma now to maximize my mileage.
At the worst driving around town in cold weather I get about 13 mpg. At best in the summer on the freeway I get 19. Compared to my '96 Suburban it is a bit better. Towing my 3500 lb boat over mountain passes etc... Here in the NW I average about 11 which is about 2mpg better than the Suburban. So mileage is respectable for a big SUV.
I like driving the expedition it really is nice but it is also new so that should be my expectations.
With regard to the transmission issue it seems that people will take it in for repair and the tech's reset the computer so that it is in learning mode and things work well for awhile the the hard shift problem will come back, this either means it is a software problem or a mechanical problem that the software hides. I suspect it has to be the latter or FORD would have had this fixed quickly. However I really don't know. I took a leap of faith when I bought mine as I jumped the GM ship and my old Suburban has lasted 15 years and 160K miles with only standard maintenance. A tough act to follow. Good Luck!
The paint issues I had and probrably Tylus-he can chime in-would not have been prevented from good maintenance as I am freak about waxing/paint care. It's just plain old poor workmanship coupled with lower quality materials. I am not saying you will have problems, just trying to prevent you from having the nightmares we have gone through. Check the roof, look for small rust specs embedded in the clear coat. Look for areas that were not clear coated, look at angles for imperfections. Check the hood and tailgate-these are aluminum and are trouble spots for bubbling paint.
come back later with it parked in another position and different lighting. re-check every single panel again. again look at all the seams. be sure to check the leading edge of hood, and the bottom of the rear hatch.
EVERY SINGLE PANEL on my Expedition has been PAINTED 3 TIMES except the roof. And the roof is rusting out now as well. Ford told me that I should wash my vehicle more often.
I have bought 3 brand new Fords since 2006. All 3 had paint issues. My Expy is the worst of them all, but all 3 had similar issues with missing paint and blemishes.
Buyer beware. Otherwise, the vehicle is awesome. We love ours in all other respects. We had the trans shift issue. They had to wipe the PCM and completely reload it with the newest flash. Works flawlessly for the past 3,000 or so miles since.
Man.... these paint issues sure are freaking me out because I am a fanatic when it comes to cleanliness and shininess.
I'm having trouble locating the Expy that i want around here. Most if not all of the dealers are not stocking the King Ranch's - I guess because of the economy most people can't afford them. They barely have any limiteds. All I am finding are XL's and XLT's. Most likely the dealer will have to special order one specifically for me from the factory. Wonder if this will help panel alignment and paint issues.
I had a 07 EB expy and the paint was and still is flawless. I gave it to my youngest daughter with 65K on it this last spring and bought a 11 explorer. We hate it and I have a king ranch expy on order since oct 20. The 07 was fully loaded with air ride, nav, rear DVD and all. Never been back to the dealer except for new tires at 50K. No shakes or trany shifting problems at all. I hope the 12 is as trouble free. And no pis ant V6 for me in the 12 expy. I am getting a tire smoking 5.4 V8 torque monster! By the way a expy and navi are the only fords left to get this great icon of a motor.
Yea it has been a long waite. They told me in late November it was on hold for the 20 inch wheels. And if I would drop that option they would go ahead and build it. I told them I would just waite and this last week they tell me it is set to be built soon and may show by the end of the year! Probably about a ten week turnaround, the way it's looking.