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. 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:
77,602 miles
Total Complaints:
3 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace front differental seals (3 reports)
2004 Ford Explorer drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #3

Jan 122012

Explorer LS 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,807 miles


Just another problem with a bad design. thank you for your time. happy new year to all.

- , Paris, KY, USA

problem #2

Feb 062010

Explorer XLT 4.0V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles

front pinion seal is leaking slinging oil every where. this is our second and last explorer nothing but trouble

- , Campbellsburg, IN, USA

problem #1

Oct 172007


  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

When I was changing the oil I noticed that all three seals in the front differential were leaking. Took it to the dealership and they replaced them for $800. In 15000 miles two of the seals started to leak again. I didn't get it fixed again, just got rid of SUV

- , Cato, WI, USA

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