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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
70,963 miles
Total Complaints:
6 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (6 reports)
2004 Ford Explorer accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #6

Mar 032015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles


The cruise control now works about 1 in every 7 to 10 times I try to put it into operation. I've essentially stopped using it all together because I know it's a waste of time trying. This 2004 Explorer is just the worst vehicle ever. Stay away if you can help it.

- , Tampa, FL, USA

problem #5

May 012011

Explorer XLT V6 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

Cruise control sets and then engine turns off. Rain or shine hot or cold. Can be restarted in neutral, but with engine off, loss of power steering and power accessories causes a danger to inexperienced drivers. I have spent $1500 or more in attempts to fix this. No remedy on the Internet that I can find. Some say it is speed sensor on transmission that sends the process variable to the control circuit. I say, let Ford tell us what is wrong.

- , Roswell, NM, USA

problem #4

Jul 282012

Explorer XLT .6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,520 miles

I just purchased this vehicle used from a local dealer. Driving it on country road with cruise engaged all of a sudden I had not motor running. The car just shut down completely. Took it to shop and was told NO FIX by FORD, they are aware of it but have no idea what is wrong! Dealer is not helping and I bought t to tow a trailer with family so what a mess.

- , Kelso, WA, USA

problem #3

Jun 232007

Explorer XLT 6.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 19,000 miles


Dealer tells me that since it is intermittent cannot diagnose and to wait until it quits altogether.

- , Paradise, CAA, USA

problem #2

Sep 202011

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,260 miles

Just bought a used 2004 Explorer, the cruise control turns off by itself. The transmission clunks when shifting down to first gear. There is a loud intermittent moaning sound from the back when the AC is running.

- , Staunton, VA, USA

problem #1

Feb 012006

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 29,000 miles

My Cruise would set-then randomly shut off. usually while I am passing a semi. Now it is completely dysfunctional. I don't even try anymore.

- , Indianapolis, IN, USA

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