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.


fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
106,176 miles
Total Complaints:
7 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (5 reports)
  2. installed bug deflector to hide the problem (1 reports)
  3. repair hood (1 reports)
2004 Ford Explorer body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #7

Sep 302009

Explorer Limited V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles


we try to keep are vehicle in good running condition so when the hood started to rust we were put out. we had the car hood fix , so now we looking for a bug guard to keep it looking new

- , Alliance, OH, USA

problem #6

Nov 012015

Explorer Eddie Bauer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,000 miles

Ford should have to pay for my hood paint since they seem to have known about this years ago.

- , Bowie, MD, USA

problem #5

Dec 172014

Explorer Eddie Bauer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles

The aluminum hood has corrosion bubbles and missing paint. I took it to the dealer where I bought it new about 6 years ago and they fixed it. It is now having the same problem. It looks like hell and the local body shop gave me an estimate of $1600 to replace it because they said it can't be repainted.

- , Northville, MI, USA

problem #4

Nov 012014

Explorer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 167,000 miles


The paint job on the hood just started bubbling/peeling off and looks ugly. Needs new paint job. Not happy with this vehicle. Would not recommend this vehicle to others at all.

- , La Vernia, TX, US

problem #3

Nov 012013

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,000 miles

Once again, I paid good money for this vehicle and the paint is peeling off.

- , Sparta, MI, USA

problem #2

Nov 012014

Explorer XLT 3.0 V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

I didn't want to pay for the paint job so since the peeling was happening on the front edge I scraped the old paint off along the front edge of the hood, sanded a little, painted with spray paint and installed a bug deflector, can't even tell there was a problem. No issues on the rest of the hood surface.

- , Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #1

Aug 022010

Explorer LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 116,234 miles

click to see larger images

paint on hood bubbling up and peeling paint on hood bubbling up and peeling paint on hood bubbling up and peeling

Looks absolutely terrible and first thing people point out when I'm trying to sell it.

- , Centreville, VA, USA

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