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:
33,595 miles
Total Complaints:
3 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replacing the seal in the rear (3 reports)
2004 Ford Explorer drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #3

Mar 242004

Explorer XLS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 500 miles


I have had my 2004 Ford Explorer into a Ford dealership for the same problem 6 times that started about three months from the date I bought it. It is now starting to whine again in the rear end and this is completely unacceptable. The Ford dealerships have replaced the rear pinion seal on my vehicle 6 times. You would think that Ford could get this problem figured out how to fix CORRECTLY which they obviously have not done. My opinion is that Ford should get different mechanics/experts that can get the job done to get this problem fixed once and for all. This is CRAZY that a company as large as Ford Motor Company cannot give me better service with the problems that I have with my Explorer.

- , Montpelier, VA, USA

problem #2

Jun 102008

Explorer XLT V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,285 miles

I went to AutoBeef to check out complaints on some other models and decided to look up my own SUV's. I saw that the Ford Explorers had a terrible track record. The V6's had transmission problems and some of the rear ends had failed, probably due to leaky seals that were never noticed and burned out the gearing. I went out to the garage and looked at the area where the axle's enter the differential and sure enough my passenger side had a slow leak. YES, Ford should send out a notice to original owners that there is a problem with these seals and should extend the coverage on this part. My 2001 & 2002 Focus had extended warranties (150K miles) on the front springs. This was a known problem also and instead of having a recall, just extended the warranty. And YES, the springs on both of these car broke. Now, I will have to check the seals everytime I change the Oil. -

- , Westerville, OH, USA

problem #1

Feb 182008

Explorer Limited Eddie Bauer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,000 miles

i too, must voice my displeasure with others that have posted.

with all the competition in the automotive market today - you would think that ford would get smart, and produce a product that they expect the consumers to pay high $$$ on - be of a "QUALITY" product.

i am forking out as of this morning 350.00 for seal replacement to my real end for oil leakage. i have owned Honda and Toyota's and one BMW.

i will be looking for another car after this is repaired ... most likely a Toyota.

- , Owensboro, KY, USA

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