If you find CarComplaints.com is helpful ... We rely completely on word of mouth. Talk about us on Facebook, Twitter, tell your mother-in-law. Help us help more people.

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.

9.7

really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
$150.00
Average Mileage:
57,857 miles
Total Complaints:
7 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (6 reports)
  2. bad plug to computer (1 reports)
2004 Ford Explorer electrical problems

electrical problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2004 Ford Explorer:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #7

Feb 012009

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

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

Husband driving, with kids, lost all power, died!!!!!!

- , Salina, OK, USA

problem #6

Jul 022008

Explorer Eddie Bauer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

I think I can help those of you whose engines are dying while driving, and it's not too costly if you look in the right spot in the first place. Our mechanic had to track it down over time and that was a little expensive. I just watched my Explorer ride away on the back of a tow truck for the millionth time. This time, it's because of the transmission. But that's a whole 'nother reason I hate Fords and will never buy another one as long as I live. My car has logged more miles on tow trucks than on it's own four wheels. The engine would just quit while we were driving. Our family mechanic found that the wiring harness was never suspended correctly in several places. The edge of a metal pass-through hole had worn through a wire and was causing the electrical system to ground out and turn the motor off. Seemed to happen when the car was hot, when we were going around curves, when we slowed. Never could pin-point it farter than that. We thought we had the problem solved when he found that, but nope. The repeated grounding out caused theplug on one of the wires to the computer to actually melt, so we started getting the same symptoms again. You'd go around a curve and the plug would shift and the motor would turn off. This happened especially when the car was hot. My husband thought it was the cruise control, and I haven't been brave enough to try to use the cruise for over a year, but I did tempt fate and try it on Sat. 2-14-09 and it doesn't work anymore anyway. But back to the engine dying problem, just tell a mechanic you trust to check out all the plugs leading to the car's main computer and you may find that it's a cheap fix. Who knows if it will happen again. I've never seen a car with so many problems. My visor is dangling in my face, too. I love the way the car looks and handles, but to get it to run long enough to enjoy that has been an epic adventure I don't care to repeat. I filled out a complaint form on NHTSA,gov, and you should, too. No way am I pleased about Ford asking for my money for a bailout when they've cost me this much. E-mail me if you need anymore details. montanala @ aol . com

- , Memphis, TN, USA

problem #5

Jan 012009

Explorer LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,000 miles

WE CAN NOT USE THE CRUISE CONTROL BECAUSE IT DOESN'T WORK HALF THE TIME AND WHEN IT DOES IT COMPLETELY SHUTS THE VEHICLE DOWN.

WE TOOK IT TO MCCOTTER FORD IN TITUSVILLE THEY DID NOTHING! THEY SAID THERE WAS NO RECALL ON IT AND NEVER FIXED IT.

- , Titusville, FL, USA

problem #4

Nov 012007

Explorer XT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

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

This usually occurs when I am passing through a small town after slowing down from highway driving to 30 mph that the engine just dies. I call Ford service and they do not have a clue and I would feel it to be ridiculous to pay them money and they tell me that they do not know what is causing it.

- , Wichita, KS, USA

problem #3

Jun 022007

Explorer ES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,000 miles

Dealer cant find a problem, must be many others with same problem!

- , Stafford, VA, USA

problem #2

Apr 172006

Explorer XLS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles

04 Explorer - Right around 30000 miles driving one fine night and the car dies on me for no reason - just stalls after coming to a stop. Started up and ran fine after that, then stalled again on the way home. Take it to Ford, they say there's no problem, no code and hit me with a bill. The car seems to have an idling problem - surges when braking, loses power while driving - drops to 200 rpm, or completely loses power. It only happens in warm weather - no problems in the winter. I replaced mass airflow and it ran fine for a month, now it is worse than ever. There is no code, no record in the computer of any problem. I am dumping this car as soon as possible. Before 50000 My Cat converter has been replaced, and transmission has gone. Never buying a ford again.

- , Franklin, Mass, USA

problem #1

Jan 082008

Explorer ES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles

I have a 2004 Ford Explorer with 57,000 that started stalling while

driving about 3 month ago. It shuts off like someone turned the key. The occurrence is very random and there is never anything common between occurrences except it typically happens when I am braking towards a stop. It's as if it's running out of gas. It took about 10 minutes each time before it would restart. Both those times, even though it died like the key was turned off, it acted like it was out of gas when I was trying to

restart it and then all of the sudden it would start like normal. The problem seemed to start about the time the vehicle was run low on gas. Since then the following has been done: fuel filter replaced, MAF sensor cleaned and the IAC valve inspected. The

service shop where it is taken says there is never an error code in the system when I bring it in. The vehicle is currently unsafe to drive with this condition.

- , Livermore, CA, USA

Not what you are looking for?