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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.

6.0

fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
$58.00
Average Mileage:
69,500 miles
Total Complaints:
3 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace shoes, safety issue, noticed when rear pads replaced (2 reports)
  2. should be recalled (1 reports)
2004 Ford Explorer brakes problems

brakes problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #3

Aug 102009

Explorer 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

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

I've had occasion to work on three 2004 Explorers (mine,my brothers and my sisters) and found the e-brake pads on all three seperated from the steel shoes. None of us can remember even using the e-brakes, but the glue bonding the pads still failed. This should be a recall item since installing new shoes involves pulling axles. Haven't felt like doing it yet, so we don't use the e-brake.

- , Atwater, OH, USA

problem #2

Dec 182010

Explorer LT 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles

Replaced rear brake pads and rotors and the parking brake pads fell off to the floor.

- , Metamora, IL, USA

problem #1

Feb 072009

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4x4 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,500 miles

To me this is a MAJOR safety concern. I only noticed the problem when I removed the rear rotor for replacement as part of the rear-brake job I performed today. When the rotor was removed on the left side, of the the e-brake shoe linings fell to the floor. When I did the right rear, both shoe linings fell to the floor.

NOTE: When the brake job was performed, there was still friction material on both the front and rear brake pads front and rear, but I did also notice deterioration on the outside of the rear disk surfaces (this is what prompted the brake job to start with, only to find the e-brake problem).

NOTE2: I did noticed that when I went to set the e-brake (parking brake) that it did not grab so I used wheel chocks so the car did not move. Only after removing the rear rotor did the problem become clear! A good pre-check for this condition would be to confirm the correct operation of the e-brake (parking brake). If the e-brake does not work, I would suggest checking for this problem.

If I had lost primary braking, I would not have been able to stop the vehicle with the secondary (emergency system).

VERY SCARY to think about!

If allowed access to this complaint again, I will add pictures I only finished the main brake system today (I did not have parts for the e-brake system).

- , White Lake, MI, USA

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