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.

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.

6.7

fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
42,078 miles
Total Complaints:
6 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. Ford should replace my seats (3 reports)
  2. not sure (3 reports)
2004 Ford Explorer accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #6

Jul 012011

Explorer XLT 4.O

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,865 miles

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

This is the only vehicle in which the leather has cracked. They never get dirty or wet and I take very good care of the whole vehicle. Leather should last longer than 8 yrs.

- , Woodstock, Ontario, Canada

problem #5

Dec 012006

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6 Flex Fuel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles

dealer said it's not very good quality leather... what do you expect? it will wear...

- , San Diego, CA, USA

problem #4

Mar 172007

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,000 miles

LEATHER SEATS SPLIT JUST WHEN IT RAN OUT OF WARRANTY. THIS IS ONLY ONE OF THE PROBLEMS. ALL THE OTHER ONES ARE UNDER DIFFERENT HEADING. I NOTICE I'M NOT ALONE. ALL THE EXPLORERS SEEM TO HAVE THE SAME PROBLEM. FOREIGN CARS ARE LOOKING BETTER EVERY DAY!!

- , Tyler, TX, USA

problem #3

Oct 172008

Explorer Eddie Baur 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

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

The leather is cracking just below where you sit on the seats, and right above the electronic seat controls. My husband and I are small people so weight should not be an issue here. Ford says its not covered under our extended warranty. So much for paying all that extra money for nothing. There are other issues also, keep looking I'll post them :)

For should do right by it's customers.

- , Redding, CA, USA

problem #2

May 022007

(reported on)

Explorer LX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,600 miles

I have an 04 Explorer. At about eight months, the driver's side leather seat began to prematurely deteriorate. The leather is cracking and ripping. I take very good care of my vehicle. I have treated the seats, but this has not stopped the problem.

I showed the seat to the dealer service tech, but she offered no solution.

- , Edmond, OK, USA

problem #1

Jun 192006

(reported on)

Explorer Limited

  • 43,000 miles

I have an 04 Explorer Limited that I paid a lot of money for. The two front seats, which are leather, are cracking and ripping. I took it in to Thoroughbred Ford in KCMO, they took a look at it and said since your mileage is over 36,000 they wouldn't cover it. I can't believe Ford will not stand behind their product. They make seats that last only two years or 43,000 miles. I have taken very good care of my vehicle. I have treated the seats with amour-all leather care and it stays in the garage since I've purchased the vehicle. I will not buy another Ford product. I called the customer service care center and the person I talked to Christine was going to do research on it. She called me back and said they would not cover this problem. I asked her who had made the decision and could I talk with them. She said there are a lot of variables and there is no-one else I can talk to about it. I would like to talk to a supervisor or someone else with some authority.

- , Parkville, MO, USA

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