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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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
73,370 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. rear end replaced/axle differential/gear & pinion (2 reports)
2004 Ford Explorer drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #2

Nov 212011

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,850 miles


Rear end grinding when you have to make a lot of turns in a short period of time. Sounds like the rear end is slipping and grinding. Almost slips when turning.

- , Clarkesville, GA, USA

problem #1

Apr 012008

Explorer Eddie Bauer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,891 miles

Rear End - differential for $2,000 at only 63,000 miles? Was told this is another problem with 2004 Explorers. 6 months later, the transmission went out on this vehicle! This is a sad statement on Ford, they should be recalling these models/years

- , Kansas City, MO, USA

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