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:
75,200 miles
Total Complaints:
753 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. waiting for Ford to recall (293 reports)
  2. not sure (201 reports)
  3. replace panel (113 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 28 of 38)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #213

Jan 142009

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles

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

When calling Ford Customer Service they said there was no recall or customer satisfaction complaint ever filed . . . WOW ..... do they think we are stupid????? Do they choose just to ignore the issue? When you see 9 out of 10 Explorers with the same problem to they think we are making it up? My confidence in Ford is definately not what it used to be :-(

- , Garden Grove, CA, USA

problem #212

Feb 102009

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,154 miles

Like many others have said about this problem, one day I went out and the crack was there. I was always careful when closing the door so nothing like this would happen. I check out all 2004 Ford Explorers that I see and 9 our of 10 of them have the crack in the same place. Come on Ford. Do something about it.

- , Sarasota, FL, USA

problem #211

Jul 072009

Explorer XLT 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 28,600 miles

Crack under rear glass of our dark blue explorer just showed up one day. In past two days, I have seen two other dark blue explorers with exact same form of crack. Seems like ford needs to make it right for all of us.

- , Spartanburg, SC, USA

problem #210

Jul 012009

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,500 miles

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

I'm having the same issue as everyone else. I have a crack that has suddenly appeared this month on the rear panel below the window and to the left of the Ford logo. I purchased this vehicle new in 2004 and just paid it off this past May. I just saw another Explorer about the same model as mine, a Red one, that had the same exact crack as mine. That led me to do some checking online and it appears to be a widespread problem. Why hasn't a recall been issued? I have treated this rear door gingerly all these years and for this to happen really ticks me off. My car is silver and the crack really sticks out.

- , Clinton, MS, USA

problem #209

Jul 082009

Explorer 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

I just bought this vehicle and noticed this crack before I test drove it. I thought before yesterday that maybe the prior owner had cracked the panel under the rear window. Yesterday I went shopping at sam's club in Savannah, GA and parked next to a Ford Explorer that had a crack in the SAME EXACT place as my Explorer. I spoke with my uncle today and he said that he saw a Ford Explorer in Claxton, GA today that had the SAME EXACT crack on it as well. I don't think that it is coincidence that three vehicles within a 50 mile radius could have the SAME EXACT crack in the SAME EXACT spot on the panel under the rear window of the vehicle. I think that ford should recall these defective rear window panels.

- , Reidsville, GA, USA

problem #208

May 082007

Explorer LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,000 miles

We bought our '04 Explorer used & noticed the cracked rear panel. We wondered how in the world you would get a crack there then we saw another Explorer on the road with the same crack. I "googled" it today & found this was a common problem. So does Ford just say "tough luck" you're out of warranty??

- , Brookville, IN, USA

problem #207

Sep 102008

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

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

This vehicle has never been hit and one day I shut the back end and the crack was there. Called Ford and they said well to bad it will cost about 600.00 to fix. Don't feel that I should have to pay out of pocket to fix I didn't do anything to damage it. Guess What I won't buy a ford again and all our life we have been a ford family. This to me is a defect in the construction of the explorer not my fault. I paid the price for the vehicle that they wanted and I made every payment on time. On the other hand If I had only sent 1/2 payments they would have done something to me. I kept up my end for the payment why can't they admit there is a problem on there end and fix my car. That's all I want is my car fixed and don't think I should have to pay for it.

- , Lone Grove, OK, USA

problem #206

Oct 152008

Explorer Eddie Bauer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

Like everyone else, my crack occurred out of nowhere. I recently called Ford customer service number and the man on the phone looked up the year and model to verify that no recalls had been issued. No recalls had been issued but he also said there were ZERO issues similar to mine!!! Are you kidding me????!!! Has anyone had any kind of resolve lately??

- , Edmond, OK, USA

problem #205

Jun 052009

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

I LOVE MY EXPLORER, LOOK`S VERY UGLY WITH THE CRACK BELOW THE REAR WINDOW, WILL FORD RECALL TO FIX THE PROBLEM?

- , Hollywood, FL, US

problem #204

Jun 272009

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles

I've owned this vehicle for approximately two and one half weeks. Today I drove it to Walmart to purchase grocery and when I returned to my vehicle to put my grocery in, I noticed a very noticeable crack in the rear panel. I'm not sure what could have happened to cause the crack parked in Walmart's parking lot. I would like to know if Ford will repair this or if this will be my expense. If the panel cracked from being parked, this will be the last Ford that I will ever purchase.

Signed

HELP

- , Sunbury, NC, USA

problem #203

Jul 152008

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,000 miles

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

Service mgr said it wasn't covered by warranty and was only superficial. I spoke with another Ford owner whom told me she knew of two other Ford Explorers with the same exact problem.

- , Galveston, TX, USA

problem #202

Jun 102009

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 28,000 miles

I called ford and was told that it was out of warranty but to bring it to the dealer body shop.......yea, right so they can rip me off.......I told out the premier care warranty which cost me almost $2000 and it does not cover this. I have researched this all day and can't believe all the problems people are having.....Ford, make this a recall!!!!!!!!!!! shame on you

- , Garfield, NJ, USA

problem #201

Apr 082008

Explorer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,800 miles

I SEE ALOT OF EXPLORER HERE IN GAINESVILLE AND SOME OUT OF GAINESVILLE AND I LOOK AT THE BACK PANEL AND SEE THAT ITS A CRACK ON THE PANEL AND I DONT GET IT WHY IS THAT ON EVERY EXPLORER OR ITS A JERK WHEN YOU PUT IT IN REVERSE

- , Gainesvile, FL, USA

problem #200

Apr 152009

Explorer XLS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,000 miles

Has anyone had any satisfaction from Ford on this?

- , Hilton Head, SC, USA

problem #199

Sep 092008

Explorer XLT 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,200 miles

Looks like a very common problem.

Ford should RE-CALL ASAP

- , Frederick, MD, USA

problem #198

May 072009

Explorer LX 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles

Ok this is the 3rd time this panel has cracked since I bought the vehicle new. The first 2 times were within the 30k warranty. Both times they replaced the panel and those happened within the same year. This time it took about 2 years to happen and its about 10" to the right of where the original cracks happened. If anyone knows anything about a permanent fix for this feel free drop me an email. I've gotta figure out if ford is going to pay for the fix on this since it's out of warranty now. The problem is that the panel is a light weight plastic and when it heats up in the sun - the panel starts to flex and it has nowhere to move since it is fastened in place at several points and eventually it starts to crack at the weakest point. If Ford reads this - please fix the problem.

- , New Smyrna Beach, FL, USA

problem #197

Mar 012009

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles

One day I notice that my 2004 Ford Explorer XLT had a cracked panel below the rear window. I took vehicle to a body repair shop to be fixed along with some other repairs. I had my insurance company look at the vehicle before authorizing it to be fixed. The cracked panel was not enough to claim, my deductible was $500, repair cost is $423.13. I paid to have vehicle repaired, then I took it back to dealership to see if they would reimburse me, they told me to contact Ford Motor Customer Service. When I contacted Ford customer service, they told me my vehicle was no longer under warranty because I had 84,000 miles on it. I was not satisfied with that answer so I wrote a letter to Ford Customer Service Division, they responded by telling me that my compliant was already addressed at their Customer Relationship Center and they support the previous decision that the Customer Relationship Center answered. They stated in the letter that this issue has been closed. I am not happy with this letter that Ford Customer Service Division sent me. Now, I'm out of $423.13 for a defect that Ford Motor will not admit to. Since receiving the letter from Ford Motor I have seen at least 5 other Ford Exployers with the same problem and I plan to tell my two co-workers who have the same problem to submit a compliant through AutoBeef. This is a safety and major defect that Ford Motor needs to admit. Ford Motor needs to recall these vehicles or pay people for repairs that they have paid to place the crached panel.

- , Powder Springs, GA, US

problem #196

May 182009

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

One morning after getting off from work. I walked around to the back of my 2004 ford explorer to put my equipment up and saw this long crack on my back panel. I know that I didn't hit anything. I took it to a friend, who owns an auto shop and he said that it's stress and that he see them on the road just like mine everyday. FORD NEED TO FESS UP and fix the problem. It, only a matter of time before the newer vehicles run into the same problem.

- , Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #195

Nov 112008

Explorer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

Wow - I knew I saw other Explorers with the exact same issue as mine but I didn't expect to find this forum filled with a bunch of people from around the country with the same issue. To this day, I still can't figure out how the crack got there but I do know that it was not due to slamming the gate too hard or someone hitting it with something. The vehicle is parked in a garage so no one can get to it when I am home.

This is clearly a defect. The experience purchasing the vehicle changed my mind about Ford for the better. However, since this is clearly something that Ford needs to handle but has yet to do so, those feelings are slowly being reversed.

Hopefully they (Ford) will do us right by recalling this part instead of making "paying customers" pay for the repairs.

- , Canton, GA, USA

problem #194

Mar 242009

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles

The problem is the same as everyone else. There is a crack in the panel below the rear window, to the left of the emblem and it goes all the way from the top of the panel to the bottom. It is about time that Ford recalls this problem that is so obviously a manufacturer's defect. Is there something that we can do, like a petition, an email with all our names, etc. that will get Ford's attention? This is so ridiculous, and not to mention very bad for their future business. It seems they should be trying everything to make their loyal customers happy, given the current economy situation and all. If they don't do something soon, this will definitely be the last Ford I ever buy.

- , Belle Chasse, LA, USA

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