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:
75,154 miles
Total Complaints:
754 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. waiting for Ford to recall (293 reports)
  2. not sure (201 reports)
  3. replace panel (114 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 8 of 38)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #614

Oct 012011

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 124,000 miles

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

One day when I was putting groceries into the back I noticed this big crack below the back window. I first thought someone hit it with something then I noticed a line that was apparently there from the factory that had opened up. I began noticing other cars with the same problems. I started taking pictures of them but then hesitated thinking it might make others suspicious of me taking pictures of their cars and the tags associated with them to show this was not on one car but on a multiplicity of them. Now my friends have even started noticing other cars with this problem and tell me they have seen lots. This needs to be recalled by the factory. We have owned Ford Motor products all our lives and have 3 in our possession now. We have bragged on Ford to everyone and made the statement "we would never have anything but a Ford". That's not the case now. There is a multiplicity of major problems with this explorer who is owned by 2 older people and who has never been used by children which sometimes explains abuse to autos. The interior is falling apart in about 6 different and major ways and areas. I am furious!

- , Pass Christian, MS, USA

problem #613

Feb 172012

Explorer Eddie Bauer Edition 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,934 miles

This panel is plastic, and subject to jarring every time the rear window or lift gate gets shut. It should have been metal.

- , Abbotsford, BC, canada

problem #612

Dec 242012

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,000 miles

click to see larger images

cracked panel below the rear window

I paid 34K for this Explorer. This is not my problem to fix. My problem was to pay for the car, not pay for defects in the car. It looks like other years have had the same problem. My insurance company has turned me down for repairs, due to a defect in materials. Now I am expected to to pay for something that was not caused by me. This is truly unfair. I have bought Fords for years. I had 2 Ford trucks that had defects in the engine and have pay for 2 engine replacements for both of our 1997 pick ups, but if I have to pay for this defect, than I will no longer be a Ford customers. If I have to pay for this fix, this is the last Ford defect I will pay for, it is completely unfair.

- , Amarillo, TX, USA

problem #611

Dec 192012

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 220,000 miles

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

click to see larger images

cracked panel below the rear window

I bought my with the crack-figured someone had done something to it beforehand. After reading up on it....apparently this is an ongoing issue. It's only a minor issue, but for so many of them to be doing it-it must be a design flaw. If I had bought it new-I would be mad as a hatter.

It's so, so, so wrong of car companies to know of an issue and not fix it. It happens over and over with cars. You get a car. Something goes wrong. You look for information on it. Find out millions of others have the same problem. Then you find out the manufacture isn't acknowledging the problem or doing anything to fix it.

RIDICULOUS

- , Jonesville, KY, USA

problem #610

Mar 102009

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,000 miles

Spoke to Ford Rep. they stated that if it cracked with less then 12,000 miles they would fix it. They basically said they know there is a problem but won't do anything untill ordered to.

- , Brooklyn, NY, US

problem #609

Mar 152012

Explorer Eddie Bauer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,000 miles

This is really irritating because the dealership told us that if we get it fixed, it will be expensive and will just crack again. This car has been with us for nearly ten years so we won't bother to fight the fight - on top of the peeling paint problem and all the other issues with this car over the years, we plan to vote with our feet when it's time to replace this Explorer.

One day, we just came out and found the car sitting in the driveway with the cracked panel. The car had not been out and we didn't understand it, until we started seeing matching Explorers on the road with the same peeling paint and cracked rear panel.

Come on, Ford! Own up to your mistakes.

- , Lincroft, NJ, USA

problem #608

Jan 102013

Explorer XLT 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,386 miles

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

Since this happened I have noticed several other explores with the same issue. I just became aware of the huge problem.

- , Rancho Cucamonga, CA, USA

problem #607

Jul 012008

Explorer LS 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,000 miles

2004 Ford Explorer rear hatch was cracked below rear widnow had dealer fix before buying the vehicle used with 14000 mi on it. It broke again sometime soon after buying vehicle. I see many Ford Explorers with same defect on the road. Have not seen any recalls regarding this vehicle. Have not had repaired.

- , Watauga, TX, USA

problem #606

Jun 072007

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,400 miles

on my wayback from the mail box, I noticed what seemed like a string hanging from the the glass part of my lift gate ,acloser look confirmed a crack in the panel below the glass.When I took the truck back to yhe dealer, I was told my warranty would not cover the replacement. When I , called FoMoCo and Ford Credit ,I was told the same thing. After all that disappointment, I went to the dealership body shop to find out it would find out the cost of replacement. Thinking it would only replacing onr plasttc panel with another, imagine my surprise when I was told it would would cost about $600.00 and included in that was more than $100.00 for that dang Ford logo. But that was not the end. The first crack was on the left side of the oval, then about eight months later I return from getting the newspaper from the driveway and find there is another crack on the other side of the oval. There should be no doubt that all these incidents are a result of material / design flaws. Ford should fess up and do the right by offering some form of compensation and "loyalty" to their loyal customers. As I type this, there are three Fords in my driveway: two Explorers and one Edge.

- , Memphis, TN, USA

problem #605

Jun 202010

Explorer XLT Sport 4x4 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

Extremely disappointed to see this occur after I've tried to take such good care of the exterior.

- , Columbus, MI, USA

problem #604

Mar 252010

Explorer XLT 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles

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

click to see larger images

cracked panel below the rear window

This problem is definitely a Ford problem!!!!! When I brought it to the attention of the Ford body shop they were aware of the problems with this panel. They said the Ford dealership has not received a recall notice, this was in 2010. An independent body shop said this was a result of the adhesive that Ford used which didn't allow the expansion of the body panel to the glass in heat and cold weather periods.

I have owned Ford's most of my adult life, WOW what support the customer gets? Still waiting to see if Ford will do a recall?

- , Asheville, NC, US

problem #603

Apr 182013

Explorer XLS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,748 miles

Purchased this explorer used on 4-19-13 and had noticed 1 crack left of the Ford emblem. This morning at a closer look there is one also about 8 inches from emblem to the right. Both cracks top to bottom of panel.

- , Whittier, CA, USA

problem #602

Mar 212013

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 153,000 miles

Just bought the Explorer today. The same day, the panel cracked under the back window, just to the left of the Ford emblem.

FORD needs to recall these panels. WE SHOULD NOT HAVE TO PAY OUT OF POCKET TO FIX FORD'S PROBLEM.

- , Fayetteville, NC, USA

problem #601

Feb 132013

Explorer Eddie Bauer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,000 miles

If this is such a problem that a class action lawsuit has been filed I think ford should pay for the repairs.

- , York, PA, USA

problem #600

Feb 172010

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

I pay the loan off on my Explorer and two days later I come out from the store and I'm greeted by this big ugly crack under the glass on the plastic panel of my Explorer. I knew that by the end of the year I would trade it off so at that point I did nothing. In fact when I went to trade it off the dealership was glad to see it there since it is such a common problem. He said had it been missing he would have suspected the back end of the car was in an accident and had recently been repaired. I now see this crack on just about every Explorer I drive up behind on a stop light. It is almost a laughing matter.

- , Bettendorf, IA, USA

problem #599

Jun 012011

Explorer Eddie Bauer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

As many others have experienced the panel below the back window cracked around 90,000 on my exploder. I haven't bothered to have it fixed as it will most likely just re-occur...

- , Wauwatosa, WI, USA

problem #598

Dec 052012

Explorer Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

I think ford should fix the problem, there are many ford explorers with same problem.

- , Norwalk, CA, USA

problem #597

Dec 212012

Explorer NBX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,400 miles

THIS IS AN NBX THE OFFROAD VERSION,(NEVER OFF ROAD,NOT ONCE).WHAT GRIPES ME IS FORD AND ITS SALESMEN KNEW IT .WHEN I BOUGHT IT NEW OFF THE LOT. THE DEALERSHIP SHOULD BE LIABLE AS WELL AS FORD. SINCE THIS HAPPENED TO ME I'VE SEE 9 OTHERS AND COUNTING IN THE LAST 2 MONTHS. IF FORD WONT STAND BEHIND THIS THEY SHOULD BE BOUGHT BY TOYOTA. .CLOSE IT UP,.PRETTY BAD WHEN YOU HAVE TO BUY A KIA OR TOYOTA TO GET QUALITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! EVERYONE OF US SHOULD EMAIL EVERYONE IN YOUR INDEX TELL THEM NOT TO BUY FORD !!! DCX

- , Clackamas, OR, US

problem #596

Jan 122013

Explorer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 175,000 miles

Cracked panel occurred during cold weather. Crack goes down right side from window to bottom.

- , Miamisburg, OH, USA

problem #595

Jan 022013

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,000 miles

Vehicle was parked under the carport in my driveway for 2 or 3 days and the crack appeared.

- , Houston, TX, USA

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