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:
75,265 miles
Total Complaints:
760 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. waiting for Ford to recall (294 reports)
  2. not sure (204 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 31 of 38)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #160

Jan 032007

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 24,000 miles

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

Now, here we are exactly 2 years later and this crack mysteriously appears again in exactly the same place on the tail gate, in the plastic body molding right below the window on the rear tailgate by the Ford Emblem. Just like the others who complained of the same defect. This time the dealer, Perry Ford in Poway, CA wants to charge me $450!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. Horsecrap, this is definitely a DEFECT!!!!!!!!!! And a known one.

- , San Diego, CA, US

problem #159

Jul 012008

Explorer XLT 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles

I won't fix it... the replacement would break too...

- , Groves, TX, USA

problem #158

Feb 082009

Explorer XLS 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,500 miles

why has this happen it just showed up i was working on the electric for a trailer hitch when i noticed it i have had the truck for almost 3 years now i see im not the only one with this problem ford need to fix it

- , Lynn Haven, FL, USA

problem #157

Jan 012006

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles

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

I contacted the dealership when I noticed the crack and was told it was not a recall item. I see now that someone else has also had this complaint early on in the ownership of their vehicle. As you can see, I have very few miles on my explorer. It is well cared for and has not only this problem, but broken visor mounts, and a broken fuel gauge as well. All of which should be recall items. IF WE ALL JOIN TOGETHER AND SEND OUR COMPLAINTS TO THIS ADDRESS WE MAY GET THE RECALLS WE NEED:

Ford Motor Company

Customer Relationship Center

P.O. Box 6248

Dearborn, MI 48126

- , Clovis, CA, USA

problem #156

Nov 122008

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,000 miles

I went to my local Ford Dealer where I purchased the car new. The Ford dealer said it was not covered under my extended warranty. He also stated that Ford should cover the repair but at this time there was not a recall on this. He admitted it was a design defect from the factory. He said he would be glad to fix it if I paid for it.

- , Huntsville, AL, US

problem #155

Dec 012008

Explorer Eddie Bauer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles

I walked out to my car after work one day and the damn panel was cracked in a triangle shape right next to Ford logo. Very disappointing to say the least considering what I paid for the car new with the Eddie Bauer addition to boot. I have been going to take it to a dealer to see if Ford would make good on the repair or see if there was a recall out. I also have a friend in the auto body business I was going to call. I drive 450 miles a week to and from work. Since my panel cracked it seems like everyone eles I see driving is also cracked. What a bunch of crap and they want a bail out!

- , Denver, CO, USA

problem #154

Jan 112006

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,000 miles

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

These things are all defective I used to see 2 or 3 a day

- , Manassas, VA, US

problem #153

Aug 312007

Explorer Sports 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles

click to see larger images

cracked panel below the rear window

I took my Explorer to the Ford Dealer that I purchased it from and they said that it was not a defect . . . even though they had had a number of people that had brought their explorer back with the same problem. They said it would cost me approximately $400. to have it fixed. I have not decided if I am going to have it fixed, yet, or not. I have seen many of the Explorers around here, that have the same problem . . . this is definitely a defect.

- , Spartanburg, SC, Afghanistan

problem #152

Dec 302008

Explorer Eddie Baur V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 39,000 miles

One week and three days later it happen again. I spent $ 32000 for this SUV and I can't get the truth on a $350 fix.

There is something wrong with this. and it's not over!!

- , vanceboro, nc, USA

problem #151

Jan 292009

(reported on)

Explorer Eddie Baur V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 39,000 miles

In the complaint area of a site that I found there 127 of them/call cust. service @1-800-392-3673. I did this and the several people I talk to lied, and said they never heard this before,I got upset but I didn't curse,This is my 10th ford,but it might be my last,if I don't get some kind of response.i'm going to get rid of the three I have.

- , vanceboro, nc, USA

problem #150

Jan 242009

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles

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

Add me to the list of exploding liftgate appliques. My dealership quoted a price of $623 ($361 parts, $194 labor, and $68 paint). Unbelievable that Ford isn't issuing a recall. Has anyone heard talk of a class action on this? With thousands of us out there, it seems like a slam dunk.

- , San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #149

Jan 152009

Explorer LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles

I PURCHASED THIS VEHICLE WITH THE IDEA IT WAS ONE OF THE BETTER OF THE FORD PRODUCTS. THE REAR WINDOW PANEL CRACKED FOR NO REASON.

WHEN I CALLED THE FORD DEALERSHIP MCCOTTER FORD IN TITUSVILLE THEY SAID OH NO...THAT DIDN'T JUST HAPPEN THEY ARE CRACK RESISTANT. BUT YET THEY SALE THE PANELS AND MY PANEL CRACKED WHILE SITTING IN MY DRIVE WAY! THEY WANTED 100.00 FOR THE PANEL AND 350.00 TO PAINT IT AND INSTALL. I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO DISAPPOINTMENT IN A VEHICLE IN MY LIFE. I BELIEVE THERE SHOULD BE A RECALL ON THIS IMMEDIATELY!

- , Titusville, FL, USA

problem #148

Jan 262009

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles

Same problem here... Its funny how you never seem notice things until it happens to you now every Explorer I look at and it has the same problem. I really hope Ford recalls this.

- , Pontotoc, MS, USA

problem #147

Jan 092009

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,353 miles

Anyone who has this problem should file a complaint with the NHTSA (www.nhtsa.gov) they have only received 3 complaints about the cracked applique on 2004 Explorers. Ford will do nothing unless more complaints are filed, 2002-present.

- , Brooklyn, NY, US

problem #146

Nov 112008

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles

click to see larger images

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

Same problem as everyone else here! Walked out one day and there was the crack. I also thought it could be the cold weather, but I do keep my car in the garage when not driving it. I also had to replace my transmission at 75,000 miles. I owned a 93 Ford explorer before this one and kept it for 13 years never had any problems, but this 2004 one is one thing after another. My next car will not be a Ford unfortunately. I think Ford needs to stand up and take care of this issue.

- , Battlefield, MO, USA

problem #145

Nov 222008

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

Adding to everyone's complaints. I noticed the crack one day out of the blue. I thought maybe something from the road flew up and hit the back or maybe someone tried to break in my vehicle. I noted another Explorer driving next to the other day and noticed the same crack in the same spot. You would think with the amount of complaints for the same problem that Ford would issue a recall. I am thinking since it doesn't seem to be a safety issue...they could care less.

- , Bowling Green, KY, US

problem #144

Jan 012009

Explorer XLT V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles

I have noticed a crack down the whole of the panel below my rear window. Ford have told me there is no recall! what is going on? I was driving through town yesterday and was behind a 2004 ford explorer that had the same exact crack. I found this site today and found there are many others with the same issue. These trucks are not cheap to buy, what can we do about this?

- , Dover, DE, USA

problem #143

Jan 212009

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,750 miles

Once again, another satisfied Ford Customer, lol. About two weeks ago I was reading AutoBeef and the problems with the Explorer rear Applique cracking and low and behold it happened to mine this past week. The dealership stated there was a recall for this about a year ago and that I would have to pay for it myself. They gave me a quote of $443.91. I think that's ridiculous and can't wait to get rid of and never purchase another Ford vehicle. I will wait about a month or so to see if Ford steps up, if not, here I come Toyota.

- , Horizon City, TX, USA

problem #142

Dec 282008

Explorer Eddie Bauer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

I am another of the unhappy Explorer owners who went to get something out of the back of the vehicle and noticed the crack below the window. I called a Ford dealer and was told that it would cost $600.00 to fix. My son has a 2002 Explorer with the exact same crack and after finding this web site I see we are not alone. My husband and I have owned many Ford vehicles but this will be the last as Ford doesn't want to take responsibility for an obvious flaw in the plastic piece that is below the window.

- , Mineral, VA, USA

problem #141

Jan 182009

Explorer XL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,000 miles

I cannot believe this!!!! Right when warranty ends of course this factory defect appears and Ford tells me it is not covered! Telling me that I live in Hawaii and it is because of the weather BS I read this forum from people all over the US Hello ford wake up and serve us Americans like we serve you...........................

- , Kapa, HI, USA

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