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:
75,133 miles
Total Complaints:
755 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. waiting for Ford to recall (293 reports)
  2. not sure (201 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

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 15 of 38)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #475

May 032011

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

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

I'm not sure how this happen, but I'm sure its something with with the body, I did nothing to it, it just showed up out of no where. I see a lot of owners has this same problem and i think its something that Ford should know about. I take great care of my truck and I am upset about problem.

- , Glenwood, IL, USA

problem #474

Feb 152011

Explorer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,009 miles

As everyone is experiencing, my hatch panel below the rear window is cracked. I see just about every other explorer with the same problem- a definite defect in the design. I call my dealer and they said that Ford knows about the problem but is not paying for the repair. Ford must recall and repair this problem. I'm very disappointed in Ford's ignorance in customer satisfaction. Will not buy Ford again.

- , Magnolia, NJ, USA

problem #473

Feb 092011

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

now that I have seen my plastic crack under the rear window..I see hundreds of explorers with the same problem...ford needs to knuckle up and fix this for free

- , Woodstock, GA, US

problem #472

Feb 082011

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,360 miles

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

Like the rest of my fellow Explorer owners think this is a ridiculous imitation of work quality put into a vehicle that had a MSRP of $41,000.......This problem is an eyesore and should be recalled and fixed by the Ford Motor Co........This is just one of many poor quality items that were put into these vehicles when they left the plant.......I serious doubt if I'll ever buy a Ford again. Every time I drive this car I get irritated by the various problems I've had.......NEVER AGAIN........

- , Burlington, KY, USA

problem #471

Sep 082010

Explorer Limited V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,200 miles

A vertical crack has developed on the rear hatch panel just to the left of the Ford insignia.

- , Monroe Township, NJ, USA

problem #470

Dec 012009

Explorer Limited V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,000 miles

I did not realize how widespread this issue was until I started noticing other explorers with the same problem. I cannot believe that ford won't step up to the plate to correct this problem as it appears to be a design flaw, not wear and tear of the car.

- , Merritt Island, FL, US

problem #469

Apr 192011

Explorer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 122,120 miles

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

I first noticed and thought it was a scratched - looked at it closer and realized it was much more. The next day I saw that the crack had gotten bigger. Over the following week the crack has doubled in size. I am concerned about how big it's going to get.

- , Dallas, GA, US

problem #468

Apr 182011

Explorer XL 6 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 156,000 miles

I BELIVE FORD KNOWS ABOUT THIS PROBLEM BUT SINCE THEY ARE NOT CONCERNED ABOUT QUALITY ANYMORE, THEY DO NOT CARE ABOUT THE CUSTOMER. THEY ALL GOT A BIG PROFIT CECK THIS YEAR UP TO 5000.00 EACH EMPLOYEE. THEY NEED TO FOCUS ON REPAIRING THEIR PRODUCT AND STANDING BEHIND THEIR PRODUCT. LIKE IT USE TO BE. IF THEY HAVE MORE THAN 300 CARS WITH THE SAME PROBLEM. IT HAS TO BE THE PRODUCT NOT HOW THOSE 300 PEOPLE HANDLED THEIR CAR. I KEEP MY CAR VERY CLEAN, WAXED, GARAGE KEP AND WHEN I NOTICED THE WINDOW PANEL CRACKED I WAS VERY UPSET. I DONT HAVE ON DENT IN MY CAR AND THEN FIND THIS CRACK AND THEN YOU START NOTICING MORE EXPLORERS WITH THE SAME CRACK AND IN THE SAME EXACT SPOT. FORD SHOULD FIX IT ,IF THEY WANT TO KEEP THEIR COSTOMERS,ESPECIALLY WITH THE COMPETITION LIKE IT IS WITH FORD AND HONDA

- , Stockbridge, GA, USA

problem #467

Apr 062011

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles

Since this is an obvious, recurring problem, Ford needs to step up and replace, whether it's cosmetic, or not. This crack just showed up. Cold weather not to blame, it's April. Doesn't discriminate by color, either. My 2004 Explorer is Silver and I just saw a brown Explorer with the same problem. With the recesssion you would think the car companies would be bending over backwards to get returning customers. I won't be one of them.

- , St. Joseph, MO, USA

problem #466

Nov 302010

Explorer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

This crack is bullshit and should NEVER happen on a vehicle. I have seen this exact same crack in multiple Explorers around town, that seem to be around the same year model. Ford should be forced to replace this panel with no questions asked.

- , Columbus, OH, USA

problem #465

Mar 302011

Explorer XLT V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

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

I just bought the Explorer 2 months ago so my wife would have a dependable vehicle while I am deployed and she is stateside with our newborn, but if the plastic can't even last on this vehicle I don't see how this is going to really be a dependable vehicle for them.

- , Mooresville, NC, USA

problem #464

Jan 012010

Explorer Sport V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

Ford has not recalled to fix problem.....Definitely a defect in the material or structure of the planel.....See it on every Ford explorer that has not been fixed

- , Norcross, GA, USA

problem #463

Feb 242009

Explorer Eddie Bauer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

I just bought my 2004 explorer last october and i knew it had the crack below the rear window, but then I started noticing ALL the other explorers with cracks. First I thought is was just blue explorers then I saw red and gold and white. It makes me want to jump out and start a petition and ask everyone to sign. This should be recalled!!! I love my Eddie Bauer but the crack cheapens it. I plan on taking this to ford!!!

- , Madison, OH, USA

problem #462

Nov 232010

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,000 miles

It may seem insignificant but I'm really the type to complain this crack came about while the car was parked ,no impact , slamming doors, nor extreme weather conditions were to cause this crack and the fact that almost 500 people have complained regarding this same problem means there is some flaw in the manufacture or installation of this piece.

I WAS CONSIDERING PURCHASING ANOTHER FORD BUT I WILL NOT UNTIL THIS PROBLEM ID REMEDIED

- , Greenwell Springs, LA, US

problem #461

Jan 202011

Explorer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,500 miles

Ford should recall the Ford Explorers with rear panel cracks and fix, or reinbruise whom has already shell out the money to get theres fixed.

- , Elkton, MD, USA

problem #460

Oct 142009

Explorer EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

My beautiful car is ugly and I want Ford Motor Company to pay for it. The broken tail gate lowers the value of my car

- , Summerville, SC, US

problem #459

Feb 172011

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,500 miles

This is really aggravating to say the least. Out of the blue, one beautiful 60 degree sunny day, I come out to find an ugly crack straight down the panel, to the left of the FORD emblem under the rear window! My Explorer, paid in full, has always been kept in very nice condition, low mileage, wash it regularly. Now has this awful, ugly crack! And to top it off, FORD has no recalls or acknowledgement of this faulty design/poor workmanship of their product. I see one Explorer after the other now on the road with the very same crack, in the very same place. In fact, one of the the firefighters at my station has a 2003 Explorer which just developed the same crack in the same place last week!! Coincidence? Absolutely not!

Something has to be done about this. If FORD truly believes in the quality of their product, that it can stand up against any comparable import model, then they need to stand behind their product, to address and fix any defects that do come to light. I will soon be adding a photo of my Explorers' crack, which you will find looks exactly like so many, many others.

- , Liberty, MO, USA

problem #458

Mar 132011

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,895 miles

Very disappointed in the obvious design defect in a company you should be able to trust. Since my truck is not under warranty, I'm told I'm out of luck. That's okay, I can buy another brand next time.

- , Cambridge, MD, USA

problem #457

Jan 042011

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,000 miles

the crack just appeared. after reading these complaints, i am contacting the federal trade commission, then ford

- , Cape May, NJ, USA

problem #456

Feb 172011

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,000 miles

It is very aggravating to leave home and arrive at work to find the rear panel under the rear window completely split up and down at no fault of my own. I AM FURIOUS! Helllooo Ford! Issue a recall or you have forever lost a true blue Ford fan and customer!

- , Bowie, MD, USA

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