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.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
90,000 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (1 reports)
2004 Ford Explorer AC / heater problems

AC / heater problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #1

Oct 012009

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles


A plastic part was broken that cost about $70 but to replace it the entire dasboard has to be removed. I bought this car used in the summer and when I tried to switch to heat in the winter I only heard a clicking noise from the switch. I investigated and found this is a common problem to Ford's and a there should be a recall. Repair was quoted for $1500 form the dealer I bought the car from. I shopped around and found some independent repair shops who would do it for less. I complained to the dealer and they agreed to lower the cost to $700 insinuating that I should of checked it out when I bought the car (who checks the heater when it is mid summer?). They probably were aware of the problem when the sold it to me because it is common.

- , Moore, OK, USA

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