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.

6.4

fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
$453.00
Average Mileage:
75,156 miles
Total Complaints:
758 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. waiting for Ford to recall (294 reports)
  2. not sure (202 reports)
  3. replace panel (115 reports)
  4. possible class action lawsuit (62 reports)
  5. call Ford motor company 1-800-241-3673 (27 reports)
  6. do not buy Ford again (25 reports)
2004 Ford Explorer body / paint problems

body / paint problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2004 Ford Explorer:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 13 of 38)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #518

Oct 212011

Explorer Limited V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,000 miles

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

Went to open the door and there it was, cracked from top to the Ford emblem then within a few days the crack extended from top to bottom. I have multiple problems with my Explorer that is now out of warranty. When it was under warranty, I had issues that they fixed and refused to refix because "it had too many miles on it now to cover". he chrome wheels started cracking and splitting and they were replaced and the new ones started doing it during the extended warranty when I was told they wouldn't replace them again. The low tire sensors are faulty. Paid Ford multiple times $50 on extended warranty to fix the dvd player and it would work for 1-2 months then quit. When I complained, I was told there's a lot of vibration on a car to affect that dvd player. Back up sensors never worked correctly and were so confusing when they worked part of the time and sometimes when they shouldn't have, I was relieved when they quit. Door codes stopped working this past summer. Sun roof leaks into the pane that opens and closes it when it rains water drips out of the switch. Had that fixed under warranty also. Handles that lifts the seat to get into the rear seat broke and I can't find one to replace it. I give up on Ford.

- , Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #517

Nov 152011

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,000 miles

have seen a crack in others. now mine cracked in a parking lot!!!! was thinking of buying a new explorer. screw it i am done. now to sell my FORD STOCK.....

- , river forest, US/IL, Pacific Islands (US)

problem #516

Nov 202011

Explorer Eddie Bauer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,000 miles

click to see larger images

cracked panel below the rear window cracked panel below the rear window

I also have a cracked panel under the rear lift gate window. Looks like crap. Just happened and I have not gotten an estimate yet. I will be looking into it as well.

- , Kaukauna, WI, USA

problem #515

May 012011

Explorer Eddie Bauer 6 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 190,000 miles

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

This is the second time the rear panel has cracked, the first time I had it replaced while my Explorer was in warranty, now only two years later the newly replaced panel cracked again. This has happened twice on the same vehicle, clearly a manufactures defect which Ford should honor.

- , Pilot Mountain, NC, USA

problem #514

Aug 062011

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,723 miles

I also had an '02 EB and had to fix this same problem with a body shop. They told me that Ford now only sells the replacement panel with the glass lift door. My "like new" '04 came with the same kind of crack. I've seen many of the same model years (2002-05) with this problem. Obviously a design failure! And Ford ducks out of the way! Would be nice to have made in N. America mean something!

- , Plymouth, MN, USA

problem #513

Nov 152011

Explorer XLT 6.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,000 miles

I have been a Ford person for 50 years. This will be my last one if they don't issue a recall.

- , Paradise, CAA, USA

problem #512

Nov 012011

Explorer Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,500 miles

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

love the truck hate the gas guzzling. but this crack that seems to be so common on these explorers really goes up my ass backwards. im all for any solutions that can take care of this problem. thanks to all and keep me informed ill do the same. waffen ss.

- , Saugus, MA, USA

problem #511

Feb 122011

Explorer LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,145 miles

It pisses me off that FORD knows this is happening to their Suv's and they aren't repairing them before they put them on the lot so in my book they are selling DAMAGED GOODS....I paid almost 30,000 for my SUV and I take VERY good car of my car and to have a huge crack down the middle of my hatch by no fault of my own is CRAZY and the best part is it will cost 450.00 to repair. We my family own 5 Fords and I truly havent had any issues with Ford but this is putting a very bad taste in my mouth I am truly not sure if I would buy another Ford because they should fix this PROBLEM they need to OWN up to it and REPAIR if for FREE.................Its the RIGHT thing to do!

- , Kennebunk, ME, USA

problem #510

Oct 012011

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles

I heard it is happening to a lot of Explorers and no recall.

- , Rochester, NY, USA

problem #509

Jul 202011

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles

Went to pop the hatch...and noticed a crack...near the Ford emblem. Where the heck did that come from? I wasn't there the NIGHT before. Makes noooo sense. My 95 Explorer looks better than this one! Sooo many quirky issues! Looking into buying a CHEVY!!

- , Litchfield, NH, USA

problem #508

Dec 002010

Explorer XLT 4x4 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles

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

The cracked panel is causing it to not close easily, have to try

a couple of times.

I e-mailed Ford a while back and they said there was not any complaints

that they knew of........ so I have assumed it was just my car until I found

this site.....

Florence T

- , broken bow, OK, USA

problem #507

Jun 152007

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles

Apparently this rear panel crack is quite common. Over 380 complaints on this site plus, just in my neighborhood going to and from work, I came across 4 other vehicles with the same problem. I've called Ford and they won't do anything. I definitely think this is a common enough issue for them to do a recall and fix these things.

- , West Palm Beach, FL, USA

problem #506

Jul 262011

Explorer Sport

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles

Add me to the growing list with this crack , was thinking it might not happen. Then in July panel cracked about 6 inches from bottom or window. A guy at work had same problem so it was just a matter of time . This and hood that the paint came off ,ford would not fix but lots with the same problem. Will be my last ford

- , Wisconsin Rapids, WI., USA

problem #505

Jul 152010

Explorer LS 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

my 2004explorer has cracked panel under back glass. I called customer service to complain but they there was not any thing they could do.

- , Paris, KY, USA

problem #504

Oct 192011

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,000 miles

seen so many complaints about the rear door cracking and no recall from ford.

- , Sumter, SC, USA

problem #503

Jun 162011

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,000 miles

I have seen so many explorers with this defect.. cracked panel below rear window. I've called and emailed and Ford has said "Sorry, Can't help." BBB complaint will be my next step... I will start taking pics of all the different explorers I see with the same problem and send it to ford. It is ridiculous that they aren't taking accountability for this obvious defect.

- , E. Boston, MA, USA

problem #502

Feb 232011

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 114,000 miles

The plastic under the window in cracked. I see allot of Ford explores with this issue.. I call Ford and the person on the line gives me some Bullshit line that its not a safety issue therefore he doubts they will ever recall it. Hey look around every Ford explorer of these years 02-04 is having this issue.. Hey sure its a safety problem. THe glass window is enclosed in this.. What is it going to take... The window flying out and killing somebody? Its not covered under warranty or expended warranty and its over 1k to fix.. Give me a break Ford!! Step up to the plate and fix for your customers...

Mark .. GA

- , Lawrenceville, GA, USA

problem #501

Oct 312011

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,000 miles

I sent my car to Hack's Auto Body shop in Pacifica, California for repairs and the charges for to replace the panel are $600.00.

I expect some reimbursement from FORD.

- , Pacifica, CA, USA

problem #500

Aug 132011

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,600 miles

click to see larger images

cracked panel below the rear window cracked panel below the rear window

Pictures show the Explorer butt-crack when it first appeared. It is now extends to the bottom of the panel. On cold days the crack is about 3/32" wide, making me think the problem is thermal stress.

I live in Michigan and know lots of folks who work for Ford. I want to support both our local and national economies buy buying American, but Ford's total brush-off of this problem strains customer loyalty. Come on Ford, with so many complaints you know this is not an isolated problem. Do the right thing by your loyal customers, or they might not be so loyal next time they have to shell out $KKKK for their next vehicle.

- , Farmington Hills, MI, USA

problem #499

Nov 022011

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,080 miles

I just purchased the SUV a month ago. Had I known this was an issue, I would have reconsidered the purchase. I don't know what to do. I should not have to pay for the repair out of pocket if Ford knows this is an issue.

- , Washington, District Of Columbia, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?