Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.

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.

10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
61,854 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2004 Ford Explorer brakes problems

brakes problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #14

Dec 312012

Explorer

  • 106,000 miles

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

The contact owns a 2008 Volvo vnl. The contact stated that the vehicle was parked on an incline when he applied the parking brake and the vehicle unexpectedly rolled away. The failure recurred three times. The vehicle was taken to an independent auto shop for diagnosis. The technician determined that the brake slack adjuster on the second axle was faulty. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 415,000.

- Wentworth , NH, USA

problem #13

Sep 152012

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 106,000 miles
I purchased a 2004 Ford Explorer in July 0F 2011, and traded in my 2001 Oldsmobile of 5 years. I also purchased the 12 month 12,000 mile warranty. Before driving it off the lot I had the dealer fix the ABS system because the light was on. There is a crack going down the back of the trunk but nothing else was wrong at the time so I left the crack alone. In April of 2012 I took it to the dealership for a belt, check trans, shocks, ball joints, and a ticking in the heater when knob was turned to heat (not cool). I told him to just fix what was on the warranty and also give it a oil change. He informed me that the trans was fine. After getting the car back my heat went out and I was told by a mechanic buddy that my brakes, rotters, emergency brake pads and the back tires were shot. So I had him replaced them because this was also not covered on warranty. Just last week my RPM started jumping with miles over 65.(no lights were on at the time)so I took it to 6 different places getting estimates on what could be wrong. All shops said the same thing. "start with fuel filter, oil filters and oil change". the day after I paid for all this the service engine light came on. (egr valve code) the man at auto zone told me to take it off and clean it with spray and let it dry before replacing. I took it to a shop and had them do this. The same day I picked up the car my service engine light came on again, O/D light and the car was driving like I was hauling a bus and jumping. I took it back the next day and he replaced the egr valve new since the same code was showing up. Later that day after getting it back the car started doing the same thing after driving for 5 miles this was Friday 9/21/12.

- Hebron, KY, USA

problem #12

Nov 262010

Explorer

  • 91,031 miles
I backed SUV out of garage and put in park, got out of vehicle while still running (to close garage door), closed the SUV door, turned around and saw that SUV was moving forward into my garage. I opened the SUV door while it was moving and jumped in the drivers seat, pushed on the brake and SUV did not stop, I was looking down at the floor to see why SUV did not stop, pulled up my foot and placed it back down on the brake. SUV still did not stop. It then made a loud noise like the engine was reeving up and then the SUV took off forward, ran through the back of my garage, ran through my back yard, ran over a tree in the yard, ran through my back yard fence and my neighbor's fence and crashed into the back side of neighbor's house. All while this was occurring, I was inside of the vehicle with my left leg sticking out of the car (since I jumped in the SUV in a hurry, I didn't realize that my leg was still out of the SUV), I continually attempted to step on the brakes (each time lifting my foot up so that I could place it directly on the brake), the engine reeved up again while going through the yard. The only thing that stopped the SUV was the tall concrete foundation of my neighbor's house that it ran into. I jumped out of the SUV, fell to the ground and laid there for a few seconds before I realized that my SUV was still running, then I jumped back into the SUV and turned the ignition off.

- Florissant, MO, USA

problem #11

Nov 112010

Explorer

  • 93,000 miles

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

Were a family a Ford Explorer my family has 4 of them ranging from the years 1996,99,2002,2004 and everyone of these vehicles have serious issues. Ranging from rotting suspension parts, to wheel bearing issues on newer models, rotting fuel and brake lines, this is supposed to be an american made company that is jeopardizing the lives of american and children with total disregard of human life, but I bet you the owners of Ford don't have these issues they probably drives foreign haha but seriously someone will get hurt by this and it costing thousands of dollars out of pocket to fix an ongoing problem with these trucks please do a recall its so unfair at this point.

- Hillburn, NY, USA

problem #10

Oct 152010

Explorer

  • 102,000 miles
My 2004 Ford Explorer caught on fire today. The fire began under the hood. Per the fire department, the fire started around the cruise control and brake master cylinder area. Ford does not have a recall out for this year model, unlike the 2003 and older models, but this is definitely a manufacturer problem. The car was driven to several points, drop the kids of at school, one at daycare, and a stop for breakfast. Nothing was wrong with our car. After arriving to work, my wife got a call that her car was on fire. There were no signs, malfunctions that something was wrong with the vehicle. Regularly scheduled maintenance were always performed.

- Spring, TX, USA

problem #9

Mar 242010

Explorer

  • 92,505 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Explorer. While braking from speeds of 25 mph, the ABS warning light illuminated on the dashboard. The vehicle was taken to a local mechanic where the contact was informed that the brake sensor would need to be replaced. There were no prior warnings. The current and failure mileages were 92,505.

- Calais, ME, USA

problem #8

Dec 042009

Explorer

  • 101,000 miles

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

When driving vehicle the vehicle stalls when braking. This failure occurs only when the vehicle is at 1/4 tank of gas or less. Vehicle has been to Ford for repair on 3 occasions. The have replaced the ABS sensor, throttle body and a fuel injection cleaning was performed. None of this has fixed the problem. Dec 4 2009 was the first occurrence and has occurred several times with the last being today 2-24-2010.

- Walcott, IA, USA

problem #7

Oct 162005

Explorer

  • 5,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Explorer. The ABS warning light was illuminated on the instrument control panel. The rear brakes also failed during brake application on gravel roads. The vehicle was taken to the dealer at least five times, and was repaired according to the extended warranty. The failure mileage was 5,000. The current mileage was 62,000.

- Struce Pine, NC, USA

problem #6

Apr 122009

Explorer

  • 81,100 miles
Easter Sunday, my family was on their way back home on the freeway. Out of no where they hear loud snapping noises and next thing they knew the rear passenger tire came off. The cars skidding on the road and finally comes to a stop. Luckily for my family they walked away unharmed. The car is currently at my home, won't turn on anymore, the wheel studs are all broken off, the rotor along with the rest of the assembly is damaged. The car is a mess and now I'm trying to figure out how im supposed to deal with the situation.

- San Jose , CA, USA

problem #5

Jun 152007

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,000 miles
Brake system issues, 2004 Ford Explorer. Braking systems makes a significant bump and noise when applying brakes.

- Macon, GA, USA

problem #4

Sep 252006

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 26,998 miles

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

2004 Explorer had problems with brakes and windows. Three months after the vehicle was purchased thee was a recall on the transmission. The ABS malfunctioned and the power windows would not go down. The rear hatch door would not open. The transmission began to slam into gear. The rotors vibrated in the rear. Consumer heard a howling noise at 40-55 mph. The dealer replaced the ring and pinion.

- Lakewood, CA, USA

problem #3

Oct 122006

Explorer 4WD 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Multiple problems with my Explorer. When shifting into reverse car jolts with a clunking noise. While driving car jolts occasionally. When braking car shakes. ABS light is on and 4X4 high light flashes. Explorer was taken in December 2004 and fixed for the truck jolting into reverse. Truck now having the same problem. Truck to be taken back to the dealer next week.

- Iselin, NJ, USA

problem #2

Nov 012004

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,000 miles
The consumer experienced a problem with the cruise control. The consumer would set the cruise control and then it will shut down by itself. The consumer took the vehicle to the dealer who as of today, was unable to find a defect. The failure resulted in a life threatening situation when the vehicle reached speeds in excess of 100 mph on it's own while hitting the resume button in cruise control. The vehicle had been in to the dealer for the repair of the braking and tire pressure gauges, throttle control, transmission slippage, cruise control, traction control default, general computer defaults and the rear trim piece at the liftgate opening was distorted.

- Long Lake, MN, USA

problem #1

Aug 232004

Explorer

  • 7,324 miles
The brake line is leaking fluid. This would cause the pedal to go to the floor when depressed and extended stopping distance. The dealership was notified, but did not resolve the problem.

- Blakeslee, PA, USA

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