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:
52,500 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace alternator (2 reports)
2004 Ford Explorer electrical problems

electrical problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #2

Jan 092013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles


Was driving down the highway one night when I noticed my lights beginning to dim. Didn't make it much further until eventually I was on the side of the highway calling a tow truck and having it taken to a garage near me to have the alternator replaced. I can't remember how much the replacement cost me or whether or not it is normal at this mileage to need to have the alternator replaced, but it was certainly very annoying. This vehicle has given me continuous issues though, so it's not surprising.

- , Tampa, FL, USA

problem #1

Feb 152005

Explorer XLS 6.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,000 miles

It is just stupid i had go a week without my auto just for this!!

- , Mooresville, IN, USA

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