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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.


definitely annoying
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
39,667 miles
Total Complaints:
3 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (2 reports)
  2. replaced sensor (1 reports)
2004 Ford Explorer accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #3

Jul 012009

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles


ABS light comes on...goes off. Dealer said bring it in and bring lots of money.

- , Warner Robins, GA, USA

problem #2

Oct 252007

(reported on)

Explorer XLT Sport 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 29,000 miles

One year left to go on payments and now the fun begins I guess...my ABS light has decided to show it's annoying self at odd times and then not come back on for days. I can start the car in the morning and it will stay on and then start it again in the afternoon and it won't come on...makes no sense! I have yet to take it to the dealership considering I no longer have a warranty on the thing but keep wondering if I'm gonna have a problem if I have to stop fast. After reading the comments on here and even though I really like my Explorer, I may take the hubby's advice and get a Chevy Tahoe for my next vehicle! Guess that means...bye, bye ABS light...LOL

- , St. Petersburg, FL, USA

problem #1

Dec 082006

(reported on)

Explorer LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles

The ABS idiot light woud come on and off at various times. On a cold start up it would stay off. Over a period of a month the light would come on frequently and a a restart would not shut it down.

After a gas gage problem previously I began to think the dash board had a problem. Ford dealer said no problem, just pay for a new sensor. A few thousand miles later the gas gauge failed for the 2nd time with the same Ford BS, Just Pay the problem will go away.

The "Just pay" and the problem will go away worked... the customer has left Ford forever.

- , Westerville, OH, USA

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