Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety. 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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
63,000 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2004 Ford Explorer AC / heater problems

AC / heater problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #2

Feb 022008

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that the air pressure hose that connects to the air compressor failed. As a result, the air conditioning system became inoperative. The dealer stated that a new hose would cost at least $400. The vehicle has not been repaired. The contact is in the process of notifying the manufacturer. The failure mileage was 56,000 and current mileage was 60,080. Updated 09/17/08. The air conditioners high pressure hose failed twice. One form the hose on the drivers side going to the radiator. Updated 09/25/08.

- Omaha, NE, USA

problem #1

Feb 022008

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles
While going to open the rear hatch of my 2004 Ford Explorer, I noticed a crack in the hatch door from just below the window down to the next panel. When I opened the window on the hatch door, I noticed that the left hinge that holds the glass is coming loose. I am unable to utilize the rear cargo area of my vehicle now for fear that the left hinge will break off resulting in the entire door coming off the vehicle and falling or dropping onto me or one of my children, causing severe personal injuries. The mileage on my vehicle is approximately 70,000 miles. Nothing has been done yet to correct this failure because after reading other people's experience with having Ford refuse to acknowledge the problem and the government thus far refusing to issue a recall, my hands are tied. I do not want to pay for the repair myself because I have already been burned by Ford on other issues relating to this vehicle, I.e., the ABS module and the air conditioning system.

- Cypress, TX, USA

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