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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: 427
- transmission problems587NHTSA complaints: 331
- interior accessories problems317NHTSA complaints: 16
- engine problems142NHTSA complaints: 172
- AC / heater problems106NHTSA complaints: 3
- windows / windshield problems102NHTSA complaints: 88
- wheels / hubs problems88NHTSA complaints: 57
- drivetrain problems85NHTSA complaints: 132
- 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
Curious how the 2004 Explorer compares to other years?
Check out our Ford Explorer overview to see the most problematic years, worst problems and most recently reported complaints with the Explorer.