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

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 29 of 38)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #198

May 072009

Explorer LX 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles

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

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

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

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

problem #193

Jun 222006

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 17,000 miles

I have seen lots of these in my area. my mother even calls me to tell me she is behind one on the road at least once a week. it also upsetting because its ugly and I pay a lot of money and keep up with maintenance and detailing of the truck i love so much!!! also i had to quit work to take care of 87 yr. old grandmother who has had a stroke and has very bad dementia. i can't afford to get it fixed. IT SHOULD BE A RECALL AS MANY AS I HAVE SEEN

WENDY VA. BEACH, VA

- , Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #192

May 102009

Explorer LS 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,000 miles

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

Well I guess I'll join the rest of the crowd....Just walked out to my suv and there was this crack! Unfortunately I yelled at my son thinking that he or one of his friends had hit something. I really felt bad after seeing Explorer after Explorer with the exact same crack in the exact same place next to the Ford emblem. Well isn't that great advertising....my real concern is why should I pay to fix it when it wasn't my fault but indicative of a defect...we can't all be wrong! Also, what happens when I go to trade it.....I definitely wont get as much for it. I called Ford and filed a complaint....I doubt if anything comes of it. I'm going to start taking photos of other Explorers with the same problem and send them all to Ford!

- , Lexington, SC, USA

problem #191

Apr 232009

Explorer Eddie Bauer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles

Same as everyone else, crack just showed up, obviously a design flaw and poor choice of materials. Just as obviously, Ford has no intention of doing anything about it. Reminds me why buying American cars is such a bad idea anymore. We don't expect a perfect product, but we do expect a company to admit when they screw up and make it right. I've bought my last Ford.

- , Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #190

Jan 162009

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 167,772 miles

One morning I woke up and decided to go clean my car since I had been giving my friends and cousins rides and it was dirty on the inside. When I went to the back of the truck, I noticed the crack and got really pissed off...I wanted to beat someone up.

I thought it was my dad or brother-in-law who had crashed against something and cracked it or someone was just trying to be mean to me.

I ended up forgetting about the problem and just decided to let it go, but now I see that most Ford Explorers like the one I own have the same crack. I was told they crack on their own. My family has always owned Ford cars and they are good cars overall in my opinion, but this time I got the wrong car!

i think the ford company should really fix this problem since most people pay money for their cars to look good and if its just the companies fault they should fix the problem before people stop buying their cars...

- , Bellflower, CA, USA

problem #189

Oct 012008

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,000 miles

Here's another fault with the 2004 Ford Explorer. I bought my vehicle used and I didn't have a warranty. It wasn't more than 3 months, and sure enough, the rear panel cracked. I was furious! Then I started to notice many of the Ford Explorer around town had the same problem. Even the Mercury Mountaineers and Lincoln Aviators looked the same. Something should be done about this. I took my vehicle up to the Ford Dealership to complain and of course it got me NOWHERE.

Once again, THANKS FORD!!!

- , Brunswick, GA, USA

problem #188

Jan 192009

Explorer ES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

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

This problem should definitely be fixed by Ford. It appears to be a safety hazard as the crack is growing and window may just fall out onto the street.

- , Roseville, CA, USA

problem #187

Apr 142009

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,971 miles

I TOO EXPERIENCED THE SAME PROBLEM EVERYONE HAS HERE...CRACK ON THE REAR PANEL TAIL GATE..THE CRACK IS NOT OUR FAULT!! IT APPEARED BY ITSELF..I WENT TO THE DEALER TODAY IN HOPES THAT IT CAN BE FIX UNDER SOME TYPE OF WARRANTY..BEING THAT THIS IS A KNOWN PROBLEM. THE MANAGER TOLD ME THAT NOTHING CAN BE DONE EVEN THOUGH IT'S A KNOWN PROBLEM. THE MANGER STATES THAT THE REASON WHY IT'S CRACKED IS THE WAY IT WAS INSTALLED OR MANUFACTURED..IF THAT IS THE CASE..THE IT SHOULD BE RECALLED REGARDLESS OF THE MILEAGE. I ALSO CALLED FORD TO SEE WHAT THEY CAN DO..NOTHING..ONLY DOCUMENT THE MY COMPLAINT, THE REP TOLD ME THAT IF THERE'S A PATTERN OF COMPLAINT CALLS ABOUT THIS PROBLEM, THEN FORD WILL INVESTIGATE THESE COMPLAINTS AND IN HOPES TO HAVE THIS RECALLED. THE REP ALSO TOLD ME THAT IF THERE'S ALOT OF COMPLAINTS MADE TO THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY SAFETY ABOUT THIS, THEY TOO WILL CONTACT FORD AND SEE IF THERE'S ANY COMPLAINTS..MY FELLOW EXPLORER OWNERS..PLEASE CONTACT FORD AND HAVE YOUR COMPLAINT DOCUMENTED SO WE CAN GET THIS REPAIR AT NO COST!! ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY SAFETY TOO!!! OUR COMPLAINTS HAS TO BE IN LARGE NUMBERS!! FOR THOSE WHO HAS THIS REPAIRED...PLEASE KEEP YOUR RECEIPT IN HOPES THAT IF THIS WILL BE RECALLED..U MAY BE REIMBURSED!!!

- , Bronx, NY, USA

problem #186

Apr 122009

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

tail gate upper cracked , paint on hood corners peeling looks like bad paint job

- , Avon, OH, USA

problem #185

Jun 152009

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,000 miles

After reading all of the complaints listed here as well as seeing many Explorers on the road with the same problem, I think that this is a real "Shame on you, Ford" situation. With the amount of money that I (and everyone else in the US) spend on a vehicle, you would think that a company as huge as Ford would stand behind there products! The sticker price on my Explorer was $32,575.00 when it was brand new and after people spend that kind of money on the car, you would think that Ford would buck up and fix the problem!!! I have owned many Fords in my lifetime and I love my Explorer, but I have to admit that this will probably be the last Ford product I will ever spend my good hard earned money for!!!! Unfortunately, this is not the only problem with my Explorer. I guess I will have to enter the larger complaint in another entry!! To all others who have posted your complaints here, I hope that you will put out a big shout to all of your friends, family, co-workers and even your worst enemies..... Watch out for Ford!!!!!

- , St. Charles, MO, USA

problem #184

Feb 102009

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,000 miles

I, like everyone, have the lovely crack in plastic panel under rear window. This problem should definitely be taken care of by Ford! I just today submitted this information to a local attorney to start a class action lawsuit against Ford and hope they will accept to take it. If you would like to participate in this please go to http://www.mhcilaw.com/CM/Custom/Contact.asp and let them know your problem as well. I am sure the more people who contact them, they will definitely get something going. Hope this helps all who have once again been screwed by FORD!!!!!!!!

- , Gardendale, AL, USA

problem #183

Apr 292008

Explorer Eddie Baur V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

A car should not crack for no reason! Ford needs to take responsibility. If anyone has had success, please share what you did!

- , West Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #182

Mar 122006

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

I already called the Ford Company about this crack in the back door by the Ford emblem.They told me that they have not received too many complaints about this problem. At the beginning was surprised as I thought someone did it, but I have seen so many trucks like mine with the exact same problem. This is a manufacturing problem that the FORD COMPANY should take care of. I met 2 people that have the same problem. People, please keep calling them to see if they can do something about it.

- , Tampa, FL, USA

problem #181

Dec 012008

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

I've noticed the same problem on many other Explorers. Definitely a manufacturing defect that Ford must address.

Anybody there ??????????

- , Novi, MI, USA

problem #180

Mar 262009

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,256 miles

The panel under the rear window is cracked. I was surprised to see so many of these problems dating back to 2002 and Ford apparently has not fixed it. I found a seller on ebay that supplies a replacement panel and a You Tube video on replacing it.

Has anyone gotten Ford to step up to this problem ?

- , Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #179

Feb 232009

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

We weren't sure what caused the problem at first. Then we started noticing other 2004 Ford Explorers with the same problem on the road which clearly suggests that this is a Ford defect and should be a recall issue. It is very inconvenient as I am afraid to even open the back hatch as it might break the seal around the window and make the problem worse.

- , Union, KY, USA

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