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:
75,166 miles
Total Complaints:
756 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. waiting for Ford to recall (293 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 4 of 38)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #696

Nov 062012

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

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

Yet another problem with my 2004 Explorer. This is the last straw. Ford products are no longer an option for my family. After replacing many major parts on this vehicle, I could have bought a Porsche and spent less money than what I've spent on repairs. Do yourself a favor. If you think you may want to buy a Ford Explorer, Don't Do It. You will absolutely regret it.

- , Assonet, MA, USA

problem #695

Dec 012010

Explorer

  • 140,000 miles

I paid a body shop to repair the crack and it happened again a year later.

- , Hammonton, NJ, USA

problem #694

Nov 012005

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,000 miles

I have had a crack in the rear panel for almost a decade. I just deal with it but it's ugly and clearly bad workmanship. if there is a class action lawsuit I will gladly join it. Ford needs to know that this is unacceptable.

- , Tallahassee, FL, US

problem #693

Feb 072006

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles

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

This car was fairly expensive and we were told the rear panel cracked due to opening and closing the hatch part of the rear door. My Ford dealer would not cover the entire cost but covered it all but $110 and adjusted the hinges on the rear door and I was told it would not happen again. Every time you open and closed the rear door it would slam you couldn't keep it adjusted. Within a year it was cracked again in the same exact place. Now I was really mad!! You know the worst part of it is that Ford refuses to fix the problem, and there is a problem and the reason I know there is a PROBLEM is because every Ford Explorer you see driving down the road has a cracked panel on the back. I did not buy a FORD vehicle my last purchase I bought a Nissan and have been very pleased it is 5 years old now and is paid for without even "1" problem. Just regular maintenance!! My Ford Explorer had a transmission problem months after I had it which was covered but still a hassle, and the rear panel cracked twice and is cracked now, never got it fixed the second time because it would be a waste of money, until they change the panel or the hinges. Then I had wheel-bearing problem on both back wheels (left and right) the roaring was so bad you couldn't stand to ride in the back seat much less the 3rd row seat. This was a very bad purchase for me. The vehicle sits in my yard now because I don't want to sell it to someone else my car problems. Would love for FORD to fix it so it could be sold.

- , Rockmart, GA, US

problem #692

Sep 152008

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,000 miles

Crack developed on rear window panel. It appeared years ago and AI've noticed so many Explorers on the road with the same problem.

- , Wilmington, NC, USA

problem #691

Mar 312014

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 126,000 miles

I have always babied this car, it is kept clean and maintained. I always have something going on with it... this time it is the cracked back panel under the window. Ridiculous!

- , Canton, OH, US

problem #690

Oct 012013

Explorer Limited 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 178,000 miles

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

FROM THE SOUND OF ALL THE COMPLAINTS FORD SHOULD HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF THE PROBLEM SOMEHOW. USUALLY YOU DON'T HEAR THAT MANY COMPLAINTS ABOUT SOMETHING IF A FLUKE. I LOVE MY EXPLORER AND WOULD LIKE TO SEE THIS TAKEN CARE OF.

- , Somerset, KY, USA

problem #689

Jan 012012

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

The crack is minor compared to other problems I've had, i.e.: 3 wheel bearings, transmission replacement, hatchback window hinges breaking, multiple fluid leaks. And absolutely no sympathy from Ford customer, no-service.

- , Neenah, WI, USA

problem #688

Jul 032014

Explorer LX 5.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 134,000 miles

Back panel on rear hatch crack all way thru Ford sign and hinges worn too.

- , Atchison, KS, USA

problem #687

Jun 052011

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,000 miles

I guess ditto to all others will suffice. Big ole crack down tailgate just like every other Explorer. Still on the road because its transmission still kinda works.

- , Rockland, ME, USA

problem #686

Jan 012010

Explorer Eddie Bauer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

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

They know this is an issue ... Ford needs to fix this problem.

- , Florence, KY, USA

problem #685

Aug 152011

Explorer Eddie Bauer 6 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 250,000 miles

This is the second time this has happened to my 2004 Ford Explorer. The first crack was replaced under warranty. The second one appeared just over a year later. I haven't had it fixed, what's the use? Every 2004 Ford Explorer you see on the road has a cracked rear panel below the rear glass. Built Ford Tough? Yeah right.

- , Pilot Mountain, NC, USA

problem #684

Dec 002008

Explorer Eddie Bauer XLT V-6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

After noticing the crack on the rear tailgate I started looking and at least a couple times a day I am behind an Explorer with the same problem. When I first noticed the problem and did check on the Ford website and learned they were not taking responsibility for the cracks! It is past time for me to purchase a new car but due to this problem and the problem I had with my transmission I will NOT be purchasing a Ford product.

- , Snellville, GA, USA

problem #683

Aug 112014

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 111,065 miles

ford used defective materials that allow moisture and air to build up behind the window panel.

just need the cracked rear panel repaired.

- , UNION, NJ, USA

problem #682

Jan 012009

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

Called Ford Customer Service twice. Both times they denied any knowledge of the problem. Went to a few dealers and body shops and was laughed at. Response was that every Explorer had it and Ford did not take responsibility.

- , Frankfort, IL, USA

problem #681

Jun 152008

Explorer Eddy Bauer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

Crack is under Rear Window. I and my Wife have both been pinched and cut from the cracked door. In cold weather the crack squeaks loudly when driving. In the summer it seems to be less noisy. Almost every Explorer in our area has a cracked rear door. if you have one you tend to notice and watch for them. We Won't buy another one, way too many problems with this one.

- , Windsor, CO, USA

problem #680

Jan 052005

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,000 miles

I have this game I play when I see an Explorer of this vintage. Make myself a bet, crack or no crack. I must have looked at 100 or more Ford- Merc. And surenuf, there's the crack. Estimate in this area to fix = $500.00 . Haven't lost a bet yet!!!

- , Cambridge, WI, USA

problem #679

Jun 182010

Explorer Eddie Bauer 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

I purchased the 2004 Explorer in 2006. Wish I would have known about the problem, wouldn't have purchased it. I was looking at GMC Envoy, decided to buy the Explorer. The crack looks bad. It happened in 2010. I hope it doesn't get worse and the entire panel falls off before I get rid of it. I have seen many cracked Explorer's in my area and Mountaineer's. I went to Montrose Ford, Akron,OH where I purchased the Explorer, they did nothing. The mechanic hardly said anything about it. Heard it costs about $500-700 ? to fix it. I'm not fixing it. I'm waiting for recall !!!! or get rid of it. I'm not buying another Ford! Also had a Ford Windstar that was junk but they had a recall on it and covered it.

- , Independence, OH, US

problem #678

Jul 022012

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

Way too much flex in the back door. Seen it happen to others so was being really careful.

Someone else closed it with uneven force, cracked straight away.

Come on Ford, this is not good enough.

- , Haymarket, VA, USA

problem #677

Sep 102010

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

Every Ford Explorer I see on the road has the same crack.

- , Graysville, TN, USA

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