If you find CarComplaints.com is helpful ... We rely completely on word of mouth. Talk about us on Facebook, Twitter, tell your mother-in-law. Help us help more people.

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.

8.2

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$569.00
Average Mileage:
91,386 miles
Total Complaints:
33 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (12 reports)
  2. fix blend door motor is slipping or blend door is broken (10 reports)
  3. replace blend door (6 reports)
  4. replace blend door actuator (5 reports)
2004 Ford Explorer AC / heater problems

AC / heater problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2004 Ford Explorer:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #33

Nov 192011

Explorer LS 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,304 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Blend Door in worst spot in the world took me 24 hrs to fix, thanks YouTube video, otherwise would have to sell my first born to cover labor costs when part is only $65. Another Shame on you Ford!!!

- , Whittier, CA, USA

problem #32

Feb 012014

Explorer LX 6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles

I WANT THIS FIXED AND I JUST PUT 3,800 INTO IT IN SEPT 2014. THIS IS SUCKING ME DRY. I'M THINKING ABOUT NOT GETTING ANY MORE FORDS. HOW CAN THIS BE FIXED WITHOUT ME GOING INTO THE DAM POOR HOUSE AS I'M ALREADY THERE?

- , Vernon Center, NY, USA

problem #31

Nov 012012

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

Come on Ford, this is my second Explorer and I had problems with the first one, too. Now, the clicking behind the dash board points to this expensive fix. Let's get a recall on this. I've owned at least 10 Fords and this is my second new Explorer...it will be my last, I think. Not sure....

- , Richmond, IL, USA

problem #30

Jul 102012

Explorer LX V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Seems like many are having this same problem..not under warranty and would cost now.just not affordable and shouldn't of happened. Same car had cracked on rear on body exterior, heater/AC into 1yr of purchase and one month of being out of warranty rear end went out..thank you god it was still under warranty. Ford "would I buy again? I don't know." It seems to me this is one of many for the year 2004 and ford I FEEL WAS FULLY AWARE and should of recalled some of the issues as a courtesy to the people that have put their faith in the Ford name instead they just waited to see how many complaints they would inquire before they honor what ford probably already knew.

- , Santee, CA, USA

problem #29

Sep 132012

Explorer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

My new teenage driver just started taking the Explorer to school this week. When the defrost was turned on this morning there was a loud clicking sound. I had to let my teenager take my new car, not knowing what the sound was. After looking online I am certain that it is the blend door. I agree that this is a safety issue due to lack of visibility if the defrost is necessary in winter.

- , Dayton, OH, USA

problem #28

Dec 012012

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

What is wrong with Ford Motor Company not having a recall on this problem?

From what I have been reading on different websites, this is an ongoing problem costing lots of dollars to fix!

NOT EXTREMELY HAPPY WITH THIS!

- , Brookhaven, PA, USA

problem #27

Apr 012012

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I, too, own a 2004 Ford Explorer who is having problems with the loud clicking noise regarding the heater/AC. My noise started to occur in the early spring months when I put the heater on HIGH or speed 4. When I turn the temperature knob down a notch towards cooler (still on 4 though), the clicking stops. Now that summer is here, and it's time to use the AC, I notice the AC unit isn't putting out much air. The air it does move is COLD but it only moves air on HIGH or or speed 4. The blower on 4 makes such a loud swooshing noise (like it's working overtime to try to cool the vehicle down) but the air it moves is minimal. This is the second time this has happened to me with this vehicle. I fixed it the first time about two years ago and the repairs were almost $800.00!!

Ford needs to do a recall on this! Out of pocket expenses are getting too much to keep this vehicle any longer! My husband has a Ford F150 truck that the AC unit freezes you out on. How can one company produce two vehicles with such different outcomes on AC/Heaters? Grrr to FORD!!!!

Update from Jun 19, 2012: Okay....so now I took it into shop and found out my blend door is broken (AGAIN) and my evaporator case is cracked! WTH!! Hmmmm total cost to fix it this time around: $1800.00!!! I have put more money into this vehicle than the Kelly Blue Book says it's worth so I guess I'm stuck with it for now, but that's the last FORD I will ever buy!

- , Sachse, Texas, USA

problem #26

Jul 012010

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

I found if I turned off the rear AC it doesn't make the noise. Live in AZ so kids are dying if I don't feel like listening.

- , Peoria, AZ, USA

problem #25

Mar 142012

Explorer LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

I worked for Ford Motor prior and for that reason, I always owned Fords. They all seemed to start having trouble at around 70,000 miles.I am now retired and cannot afford to pay $1200 just to get some heat in my vehicle. You can bet this is the LAST Ford product I ever buy. $1200 for a worn out plastic gear. That is stupid. My next vehicle will definitely be a foreign make.

- , Merrimack, NH, USA

problem #24

Jun 052010

Explorer 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 133,552 miles

I hate Ford I have had so many issues with this vehicle. I will never own another ford!

- , Welch, WV, USA

problem #23

Nov 302011

Explorer LS 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,650 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

will blow cold air no heat I hear part does not cost much it is the Labor that cost so much. Just Like all the other problems with the explorer ford will not fix. i am a ford retiree & my children have fords. we suppose to be a family of fine vehicles. but that is not true. thank you. thompson 5.

Update from Dec 10, 2011: Sorry it was not the blend door motor mechanic friend fixed it.part 42.00 with his discount at koi auto parts.thankyou for your interest.

- , Paris, KY, USA

problem #22

May 092011

Explorer

  • Manual transmission
  • 56,000 miles

HAVE A 2004 FORD EXPLORER WHICH I TAKE CARE OF...IN MAY OF THIS YEAR TURNED ON THE AIR AND THIS VERY,VERY LOUD CLICKING NOISE STARTED...I TURNED IT OFF AND TURNED THE A/C BACK ON....NO A/C!!!!! CHECKED THE HEAT....NO HEAT!!!! CONTACTED FORD AFTER I LOOKED UP THE PROBLEM ONLINE AND SAW THE THOUSANDS OF COMPLAINTS THAT ARE ON THERE...COULD NOT BELIEVE THAT FORD HAS NOT RECALLED THIS PART!!!!! COULD THIS NOT BE A FIRE HAZARD???? NOT ONLY THAT, BUT THOSE OF US WITH CHILDREN DO NOT LIKE DRIVING AROUND WITH NO A/C OR HEAT!!!!! SUPPOSEDLY THIS IS A PLASTIC PIECE AND MELTS??? HOW DOES FORD THINK THIS IS NOT AN ISSUE THEY NEED TO ADDRESS???? PERSONALLY....I'M SO TICKED OFF, I WANT TO CALL MY LOCAL NEWS STATION, POST THIS ON FACEBOOK AND CALL THE NEWSPAPER WHILE I'M AT IT......THIS IS RIDICULOUS AND I'LL NEVER BUY ANOTHER FORD!!!!!

- , Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #21

May 252011

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

ok I BOUGHT my 2004 explorer new June 2004. No miles. The AC didnt work, so i drove right back and returned it and got another new one. paid a$1000 more because they didnt have the same one i wanted. NOW 2010 the cold a/c doesn't work and i have to keep recharging the a/c every 5 months to get cold air. Now as of 5/1/2011, the heater when turned on is starting to make a loud clicking sound. i have to turn it off then turn it on again on low or high which ever one makes it stop

- , Whittier, CA, USA

problem #20

May 022011

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

sad to say that I have had this vehicle 1 yr....we always thought there was something wrong with the vent doors....a few weeks ago suv started clicking whe you turned the blue to red control for heat....it had gotten quite warm out...then it got cold again...when I discovered I had no heat for 2 weeks when it had gotten down to low 40s in may in GA

- , Woodstock, GA, USA

problem #19

Oct 052010

Explorer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 128,239 miles

The unit makes a knock, knock, knocking -- it seems to make the noise until the car has "warmed up' but by then , i am usually to my destination. Typically, if it is not turned up to full power, it won't make the noise, however, there are those days where it is fickle and is noisy just the same.

- , Dallas, GA, USA

problem #18

May 012011

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles

No heat. Blend door. Also crack in the window trim in the back.

- , Greensboro, IN, USA

problem #17

Feb 102011

Explorer 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,875 miles

I think ford should have put out a recall or TSB if sooo many people have had this issue. The worst part is all the cost was from Labor and put in a really bad spot.

- , Nashua, NH, USA

problem #16

Mar 032011

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,090 miles

It is cold outside and cold in my vehicle and the clicking started which was almost unbearable, but at least the heat worked, and now, no clicking but also no effing heat! I'm really unhappy with ford and they should at least offer to fix this because it is a major problem! My explorer also has the cracked rear window trim that everyone is also complaining about. Come on ford, step up and fix the problems with your vehicles... or you're gonna lose a lot more money due to people switching brands because they don't feel confident driving your products anymore, I know I don't! I will be trading this vehicle in for something else very soon!

- , Terre Haute, IN, USA

problem #15

Dec 272010

Explorer LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

Dead in the Chicago winter, the Heat stop working.

- , Chicago, IL, USA

problem #14

Sep 132010

Explorer XLS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles

I own a 2004 Ford Explorer and take good care of my vehicle. The problem with the clicking noise behind the dash with the AC/heater drives me totally insane. Also I freeze to death in my car in the winter and in the summer I burn up. Ford needs to step up to the plate and fix this problem as a recall or free of charge. FORD ------STAND BEHIND YOUR PRODUCT!!!!!!!!

- , Montpelier, Virginia, USA

Read the next 13 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?