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2004 Ford Explorer
Problems & Complaints
CarComplaints.com Notes: The 2004 Ford Explorer one of our worst vehicles on record. "Avoid like the plague" is putting it lightly.
The 2002-2005 Explorer has a very well-established record of expensive transmission failure at under 100k miles. The Explorer has an enclosed transmission which is typically replaced with a rebuilt transmission at a cost of almost $3,000.
Another common problem for the 2002-2005 Explorer is wheel bearing failure at around 90k miles, with a typical repair bill of $500 to $1000 depending on how many wheel bearings failed.
Adding insult to injury, the 2002-2005 Explorer also has a massive problem with the rear panel cracking. While it's a minor annoyance compared to transmission failure, ironically the crack usually goes right through the Ford logo.
Worst 2004 Explorer Problems by Category
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- body / paint problems855NHTSA complaints: 426
- transmission problems585NHTSA complaints: 331
- interior accessories problems317NHTSA complaints: 16
- engine problems142NHTSA complaints: 172
- AC / heater problems106NHTSA complaints: 3
- windows / windshield problems102NHTSA complaints: 88
- wheels / hubs problems89NHTSA complaints: 57
- drivetrain problems85NHTSA complaints: 131
- brakes problems32NHTSA complaints: 53
- suspension problems20NHTSA complaints: 38
- electrical problems14NHTSA complaints: 51
- seat belts / air bags problems9NHTSA complaints: 35
- cooling system problems8NHTSA complaints: 3
- fuel system problems7NHTSA complaints: 32
- steering problems5NHTSA complaints: 36
- exterior accessories problems4NHTSA complaints: 49
- lights problems3NHTSA complaints: 4
- exhaust system problems1
- miscellaneous problemsNHTSA: 28
- clutch problemsNHTSA: 1
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Compare Ford Explorer Model Years
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Check out our Ford Explorer overview to see the most problematic years, worst problems and most recently reported complaints with the Explorer.